Saturday, April 03, 2021

136,000 Fan Ballots Cast via Starting Five Fan Voting Presented by Dell Technologies


Bristol, Conn. – Today on ESPN’s College Game Day coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, the Basketball Hall of Fame revealed this year’s five positional award winners, also known as the Naismith Starting Five. The winners were determined by a combination of input from committees composed of top basketball personnel and over 136,000 votes cast over the course of the season via Starting Five Fan Voting Presented by Dell Technologies. 

In addition to the esteemed Bob Cousy Point Guard Award which has been presented since 2004, the Basketball Hall of Fame established four additional awards in the 2014-15 season: the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award. Each award’s namesake headed his own selection committee to evaluate candidates throughout the 2020-21 season. 

"The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate the best in the game, both men and women at every level,” said John Doleva, President of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “This season has been a challenging one to say the least, and the sacrifices these student athletes have made is not lost on us. Today we honor them for their accomplishments and recognize them as our 2021 Men’s Naismith Starting Five.”


2020-21 Men’s Naismith Starting Five: 


Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois, Jr.) – Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award 

20.1 pts/gm, 6.3 reb/gm, 5.3 ast/gm


Chris Duarte (Oregon, Sr.) – Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award 

17.1 pts/gm, 4.6 reb/gm, 2.7 ast/gm


Corey Kispert (Gonzaga, Sr.)  Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award

18.9 pts/gm, 5 reb/gm, 45.3 3pt%, 88.5 ft%


Drew Timme (Gonzaga, So.)  Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award

19 pts/gm, 7.2 reb/gm, 2.3 ast/gm, 65.0 fg% 


Luka Garza (Iowa, Sr.) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award

24.1 pts/gm, 8.7 reb/gm, 1.6 blk/gm, 44.0 3pt%


A complete list of finalists can be found below. For more information, visit or follow @hoophall on Instagram and Twitter.


Quotes from Men’s Naismith Starting Five Award Winners

“Looking at the field of dynamic finalists, I am beyond honored to be the 2021 Bob Cousy Award recipient. Winning this award was among the list of personal goals I set when deciding to return to Illinois for a third season, and I’m grateful and blessed to have accumulated a body of work this season that Mr. Cousy and the committee thought so highly of. It’s a dream come true!” – Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois), Bob Cousy Award Winner

“It is an honor to win this award. It’s an amazing feeling. This was one of the goals that I worked for this year and it feels good to have that hard work pay off. I found out that Jerry West played the one, played the two; he did so many different things really well in his career and that’s how I’d like to be known someday too. I’d like to thank my family, my teammates and my coaches for all their help and support. I couldn’t have done this without them.” – Chris Duarte (Oregon), Jerry West Award Winner

“I am extremely humbled and honored to accept this award out of such a talented pool of players. Dr. J was innovative in the way he played the game and it’s still holding true today. I want to thank my teammates and coaches, without them this would not have been possible, along with the selection committee.” – Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Julius Erving Award Winner

“Karl Malone is a legend, and I am incredibly grateful to win this award. I’m honored to represent Gonzaga, my teammates and my coaches with this recognition. I have nothing but respect for the talented candidates who were up for the award. I thank Mr. Malone and the committee for the selection.” – Drew Timme (Gonzaga), Karl Malone Award Winner

“To win this award two years in a row is a surreal feeling. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar represented what it was to be an amazing person and basketball player and was a role model to many, including myself. I would not have been able to accomplish this without my teammates, coaches, and my family. I am so grateful for the University of Iowa. Go Hawks!” – Luka Garza (Iowa), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Winner


2021 Men’s Naismith Starting Five Finalists


Bob Cousy Award Finalists 

Jared Butler (Baylor)

Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)

Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois)

Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)

Collin Gillespie (Villanova)


Jerry West Award Finalists

MaCio Teague (Baylor)

Joel Ayayi (Gonzaga)

Quentin Grimes (Houston)

Joe Wieskamp (Iowa)

Chris Duarte (Oregon)


Julius Erving Award Finalists

Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)

Isaiah Livers (Michigan)

Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers)

Terrence Shannon, Jr. (Texas Tech)

Sam Hauser (Virginia)


Karl Malone Award Finalists 

Drew Timme (Gonzaga)

Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)

Justin Champagnie (Pittsburgh)

Sandro Mamukelashvili (Seton Hall)

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalists 

Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)

Luka Garza (Iowa)

Trevion Williams (Purdue)

Evan Mobley (USC)

Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky)


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 or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.