Charles Bassey named candidate for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Charles Bassey (23) celebrates after making a shot against Wisconsin in Diddle Arena Dec. 29 in Bowling Green. Bassey had 19 points and six rebounds in the win. 

Matt Stahl

Freshman center Charles Bassey has been named as one of 10 candidate for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, named after the three-time NCAA champion and NBA great.

Bassey is one of only two freshmen on the list of finalists, joining UCLA’s Moses Brown.

Bassey has been dominant this season, especially in Conference USA play, as he’s currently averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. He leads C-USA in both double-doubles and rebounds.

In last night’s double overtime win against Rice, Bassey played a key role on the boards, coming down with 14 rebounds to go with 10 points and five blocked shots, including three in overtime, his sixth double-double in the last seven games. He now has 247 rebounds on the season, moving ahead of Derrick Gordon in the WKU record book for first place in the category of rebounds by a freshman.

The full list of candidates includes two big men that Bassey has faced off against this year: Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. Bassey had 21 points, nine rebounds and five blocks against Gafford and UA. He recorded 19 points, six rebounds and four blocks against Happ and UW. 

The field of finalists will be narrowed to five candidates in March and that list will be given to Abdul-Jabbar and the selection committee, who will announce the winner of the award at the College Basketball Awards on April 12 in Los Angeles.

The complete list of 10 is available below. 

Daniel Gafford, Arkansas

Nick Perkins, Buffalo

Nico Carvacho, Colorado State

Jessie Govan, Georgetown

Bruno Fernando, Maryland

Nick Ward, Michigan State

Moses Brown, UCLA

Charles Bassey, WKU

Nathan Knight, William & Mary

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin

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