CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite (Conakry, Guinea) was one of 20 players named to the watch list for the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday (Oct. 17).
Named after 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor now in its sixth year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Diakite averaged 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots as a redshirt junior in 2018-19. He hit the game-tying jumper at the end of regulation against Purdue in the NCAA Elite Eight, earning All-South Regional team honors. Diakite blocked a career high five shots in the Final Four semifinal win over Auburn and averaged 10.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in the NCAA Tournament for the national champion Cavaliers. He is a preseason All-ACC first-team selection.
Malone attended Louisiana Tech University due to its close proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, Louisiana. He led the Bulldogs to a Sweet 16 appearance and earned All-Southland honors in his three seasons while averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Malone achieved great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02), 11-time All-NBA First Team player (1989-99) and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996).
New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Karl Malone Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.
Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Zion Williamson, Duke (2019). Deandre Ayton, Arizona (2018), Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015).
For more information on the 2020 Karl Malone Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, October 18.
2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Candidates
Tristan Clark, Baylor
Yoeli Childs, BYU
Lamine Diane, CSUN
Obi Toppin, Dayton
Killian Tillie, Gonzaga
EJ Montgomery, Kentucky
Trendon Watford, LSU
Jalen Smith, Maryland
Xavier Tillman, Michigan State
Reggie Perry, Mississippi State
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State
Brady Manek, Oklahoma
Lamar Stevens, Penn State
Trevion Williams, Purdue
Isaiah Mobley, USC
Alexis Yetna, USF
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
Tyrique Jones, Xavier