SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – One of three high major players averaging at least 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, Arkansas sophomore Bobby Portis has been named one of five finalists for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame on Monday.
The winners of the Basketball Hall of Fame college basketball awards will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Hall of Fame’s selection committees. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 9-18. The inaugural awards will be awarded at ESPN’s new College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Awards will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8:00pm EST.
2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalists
Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas
Jahlil Okafor, Duke University
Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse University
Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin
Portis along with Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas are the only three high-major players in the country averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. A native of Little Rock, Portis’ second string of back-to-back 20-point games in SEC play this season helped him finish as the league-leader in scoring at 18.6 points in conference-only contests. The double-double against LSU on Saturday also brought his league-leading total to nine in SEC play, extending his already-established program record. Portis reached double figures in all 18 SEC gams and is currently riding a 26-game streak.
One of the front-runners for SEC Player of the Year, Portis is in the top five of the SEC in scoring (17.8/2nd), 20-point games (12/2nd), field goal percentage (.563/1st), rebounding (8.7/4th), offensive rebounds (3.6/2nd) and double-doubles (11/4th).
Portis is also on the Wooden Award Final 15 list and is one of 14 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.