CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) was one of 20 players named to the watch list for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday (Nov. 6).

Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its seventh year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

Huff tallied 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds and a team-high 61 blocks in 2019-20. He recorded a career-high 17 points at Georgia Tech and Miami, and had 16 multi-block games. Huff enjoyed his finest game as a Cavalier in a home win over Duke, totaling 15 points, nine rebounds and 12 blocked shots.

Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1966-1969. He is a three-time NCAA Champion who earned numerous accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969). As a professional, Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the league’s all-time leading scorer.

College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to just 10. In late February, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.

The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented on Friday, April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Karl Malone Power Forward Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Luka Garza, Iowa (2020), Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

For more information on the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live today, Nov. 6.

2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Candidates
Matt Haarms, BYU
Mark Williams, Duke
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
Luka Garza, Iowa
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky
Ahsan Asadullah, Lipscomb
Cameron Krutwig, Loyola Chicago
Mousa Cisse, Memphis
Liam Robbins, Minnesota
Armando Bacot, North Carolina
Walker Kessler, North Carolina
Trevion Williams, Purdue
Grant Golden, Richmond
Evan Mobley, USC
Neemias Queta, Utah State
Jay Huff, Virginia
Derek Culver, West Virginia
Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
Micah Potter, Wisconsin
Loudon Love, Wright State