On Friday, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame revealed the 10 finalists for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Among the many up for the award, one player in particular from the Southeastern Conference still finds himself in the running.
Georgia Bulldogs big man Yante Maten remains in contention for the coveted award given out to the best center in the country. Maten has been one of the best players in the SEC this season, ranking second in points per game (19.8) and third in rebounds per game (7.6) within the ranks of the conference. In doing so, the junior forward/center has done enough to gain well-deserved national recognition from the Hoops Hall of Fame.
The Pontiac, Michigan native is joined by a host of other talented players. Among those still in contention for the award with Maten are Przemek Karnowski (Gonzaga Bulldogs), Justin Patton (Creighton Bluejays), Tacko Fall (UCF Knights), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin Badgers) and Thomas Welsh (UCLA Bruins). In addition, Jock Landale (St. Mary’s Gaels), Josh Hawkinson (Washington State Cougars) and Eric Mika (BYU Cougars) are also up for the award as well to this point.
It should prove to be an exciting chase down the stretch and we’ll see if Maten can join former winners Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) and Jakob Poeltl (Utah Utes) in taking home the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award by season’s end.