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Charles Bassey selected as finalist for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award

Rhode Island Rams at WKU Hilltoppers, on December 13, 2020 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling...
Rhode Island Rams at WKU Hilltoppers, on December 13, 2020 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, KY(Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics | Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics)
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 1:40 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Hilltopper Basketball center Charles Bassey has been named a top-10 finalist for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.

The 6-foot-11, 235-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria, was named to the Kareem Award watch list last season before a leg injury cut his sophomore campaign short. Bassey was a top-five finalist for the Kareem Award in 2019, one of four freshmen to ever be named a finalist.

Bassey adds this selection to a number of honors the All-American candidate has received this season.

Bassey has been named to the National Player of the Year watch lists for the John Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, and Lute Olson Award. He is also on the watch list for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

As of Thursday, Bassey led the nation in total blocks, rebounds, double-doubles, and dunks. He also ranked second in blocks per game and defensive rebounds per game, as well as third in total rebounds per game.

The junior is averaging 17.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game. He is the only player in the nation with three games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks.

WKU’s non-conference strength of schedule was ranked 16th in the country by the NET on Wednesday.

In WKU’s four matchups against Power Five opponents, Bassey averaged 19 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks.

Bassey’s been named Conference USA Player of the Week six times already this year, tying former Cincinnati star and longtime NBA pro Kenyon Martin for the league record for most in a single season.

The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award will be presented on Friday, April 9.

2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates*

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

Luka Garza, Iowa

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Liam Robbins, Minnesota

Nate Watson, Providence

Trevion Williams, Purdue

Evan Mobley, USC

Neemias Queta, Utah State

Derek Culver, West Virginia

Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-2021 season*

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