Friday, October 28, 2022

Starting Five Fan Voting, Presented by Dell Technologies, Begins Today


Springfield, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch-list members for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its ninth year recognizes the top center in men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“Rounding out the Men’s Starting Five Watch List is the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. The student-athletes on this list should feel tremendously proud of all they have accomplished to be associated with basketball’s all-time leading scorer,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “With his focus on both education and athletics, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s perspective is cherished by our committee when evaluating talent each year.”


2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Candidates*

Charles Bediako


Moussa Cissé

Oklahoma State

Oumar Ballo


Kel'el Ware


PJ Hall


Zach Edey


Ryan Kalkbrenner


Clifford Omoruyi


Dereck Lively II


Fardaws Aimaq

Texas Tech

Colin Castleton


Adem Bona


Osun Osunniyi

Iowa State

Adama Sanogo


Oscar Tshiebwe


Branden Carlson


Hunter Dickinson


Jamarion Sharp

Western Kentucky

Armando Bacot

North Carolina

Jack Nunge



*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2022-2023 season*


Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds starting today. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected. 

The winner of the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward) and the Karl Malone Award (Power Forward), in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award are Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (2022), two-time winner Luka Garza, Iowa (2020-21), Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

For more information on the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and the latest updates, visit and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram.


About Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the University of California-Los Angeles from 1966-1969. He is a three-time NCAA Champion who earned numerous accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969). As a professional, Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the league’s all-time leading scorer. In 2021, the NBA created the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, which honors players who are making strides in the fight for social justice.


About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial 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 and #KareemAward or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.