Saturday, April 06, 2024

– Caitlin Clark and Zach Edey Repeat as Award Winners –


GLENDALE, ARIZ.  Today, on ESPN’s College GameDay coverage of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four in Arizona, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame revealed this year’s positional award winners. The awards recognize the preeminent college basketball player at each position, also known as the Naismith Starting Five. The winners were determined by a combination of input from committees composed of top basketball personnel and Starting Five Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies.


The Hall of Fame selection committees, which included media members, coaches, sports information directors, and Hall of Famers, determined the preseason watch list of 20 candidates in October. The list was narrowed to 10 candidates in February and five candidates in mid-March before determining the winner. All season long, players were able to play their way into award consideration. 


"The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate the best in the game at every level, both men and women," said John L. Doleva, President of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. "The student-athletes who have received our Starting Five Awards are a true reflection of the Hall of Famers for whom the awards are named, both in terms of their character and abilities on the court. We are honored to recognize this remarkable group of people, and we know they will continue to achieve success wherever they go. We honor their accomplishments today and name them the Men’s and Women’s 2024 Naismith Starting Five.”


2024 Men’s Naismith Starting Five:

Tristen Newton (UConn) – Bob Cousy (Point Guard) Award

RJ Davis (North Carolina) – Jerry West (Shooting Guard) Award

Dalton Knecht (Tennessee) – Julius Erving (Small Forward) Award

Jaedon LeDee (San Diego State) – Karl Malone (Power Forward) Award

Zach Edey (Purdue) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Center) Award (Second two-time men’s award winner, also Luka Garza in 2019-20 and 2020-21)


2024 Women’s Naismith Starting Five: 

Caitlin Clark (Iowa)– Nancy Lieberman (Point Guard) Award (Three-time winner)

JuJu Watkins (USC) –Anne Meyers Drysdale (Shooting Guard) Award

Madison Booker (Texas)– Cheryl Miller (Small Forward) Award 

Kiki Iriafen (Stanford)– Katrina McClain (Power Forward) Award

Cameron Brink (Stanford) – Lisa Leslie (Center) Award

Quotes from Men’s Naismith Starting Five Award Winners

“It is an honor to receive this recognition. Credit to my teammates and coaches for always putting me in a position to succeed and put the team in the best position to win games. This would not be possible without the success of our team, and I am hungry to keep going in the Final Four.” – Tristen Newton, Bob Cousy Award Winner (#CousyAward)

“Winning the Jerry West Award is a huge accomplishment. I’m so grateful to even be recognized and this wouldn’t be possible without the support from my teammates and family. I’m blessed and honored to receive this award." – RJ Davis, Jerry West Award Winner (#WestAward)

I am honored to receive this prestigious award. To see my name associated with one of the greatest basketball players ever is truly humbling. I want to thank Julius Erving and the entire committee for selecting me. It would not have been possible, though, without my teammates and coaches. I’d like to express my appreciation to every single one of them for supporting me throughout this entire season, on and off the court. I will be forever grateful to all of them, as well as to the University of Tennessee community and Vol Nation, for embracing me in such an incredible way.” – Dalton Knecht, Julius Erving Award Winner (#ErvingAward)

“I would like to thank the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, MrI share thison committee for being named the 2024 Karl Malone Award Power Forward of the Year. I am truly humbled to have my name mentioned alongside Mr. Malone, a Hall of Famer, as well as past recipients of this honor; Obi Toppin, Drew Timme and Zion Williamson, among others. While this is an individual award and recognition, I would not be in this position without the support of my family, teammates, and coaches. They have all played an integral role in my development as a player and person.” – Jaedon LeDee, Karl Malone Award Winner (#MaloneAward)

“I would like to thank the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the committee of the Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award for this honor. To receive an award with Kareem’s name on it is an incredible honor and I am humbled to have received this recognition. Without my teammates, coaches and family, I would not be where I am today in my basketball journey and I am looking forward to representing Purdue Basketball in the Final Four this weekend and beyond.” – Zach Edey, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Winner (#KareemAward)


Quotes from Women’s Naismith Starting Five Award Winners

“To be a three-time recipient of the Nancy Lieberman Award is truly humbling. Being selected as this season’s honoree is special with the number of talented and skilled point guards across the country. One of the pioneers in our sport, I would not be where I am today without Nancy.” Caitlin Clark, Nancy Lieberman Award Winner (#LiebermanAward) 

“This is a true honor. Ann Meyers Drysdale is a legend, and also a Southern California native, so it feels extra special to me to win this award. My freshman season at USC has been an incredible experience, and I feel so blessed to have the teammates and coaches I’ve had, as well as the support of my family and the USC community. I’m thankful to the USBWA for its support of women’s basketball, and for selecting me out of an amazing group of talented women who also love to play this game.” – JuJu Watkins, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Winner (#MeyersAward)

"It is an honor to be named the winner of the Cheryl Miller Award. This season has been a blessing. I couldn’t have done it without my Lord and Savior. He has opened so many doors for me. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support from my teammates and coaches. To be named the winner of an award named after the great Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller is very special. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today in women’s basketball without players like Cheryl paving the way." – Madison Booker, Cheryl Miller Award Winner (#MillerAward) 

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be named the winner of the 2024 Katrina McClain Award. Thank you to Katrina McClain, the Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA for this tremendous honor. Externally, people may not have expected much from me heading into the year, but I knew all the hard work I had put in, both physically and mentally, to make this season a reality. To see it come to fruition and be selected as the best power forward in the country is truly gratifying. I also want to thank God, my family, teammates, and coaches for all their unwavering support. My success wouldn’t be possible without them. It’s extra special to be able to share one of these awards with Cam. It’s extra meaningful to be able to share one of these awards with Cam. We had a special year playing alongside each other and I can’t wait to cheer her on in the WNBA.” – Kiki Iriafen, Katrina McClain Award Winner (#McClainAward) 

"It is very humbling to win an award named after one of the best players the game has ever seen. Thank you to Lisa Leslie, the WBCA and the Basketball Hall of Fame for recognizing me with this tremendous honor. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, coaches, and the countless others who played a part in helping me along my journey. I am so grateful to all of them for pushing me each day and always believing in me. It’s also special to share a Naismith Starting Five Award with Kiki. I am so grateful for her and proud of the success we were able to achieve together this season." – Cameron Brink, Lisa Leslie Award Winner (#LeslieAward)


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About the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit, follow @hoophall, or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.