Bassey named finalist for Center of the Year Award

WKU’s Charles Bassey (23) blocks Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ (22) on Dec. 29 in Bowling Green. Bassey finished the win with four blocks. 

Matt Stahl

Freshman center Charles Bassey has been named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bassey is one of five finalists, including Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Bruno Fernando of Maryland, Jesse Govan of Georgetown and Nathan Knight of William & Mary. Bassey is the only freshman on the list of finalists.

“I’m proud to be a finalist for an award named after one of the best to ever play this game,” Bassey said in a press release. “It’s an honor to represent my school in this way, and I couldn’t have grown as a player over this season without my teammates and coaches.”

Bassey is averaging 15 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He also shoots 62.5 percent from the field, which places him in the top 30 nationally.

The award will be handed out on April 12 at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles. The winner will be chosen using a combination of fan vote and the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee’s input.

“The Naismith Starting 5 is an opportunity for the Hall of Fame to annually celebrate the best in the college game,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a press release. “We’ve had some really remarkable winners over the past four seasons and I look forward to meeting this year’s winner in Los Angeles.”

Fans can vote for their choice from March 8-29 on

Sports Editor Matt Stahl can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mattstahl97.