CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia redshirt senior Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) was named one of five finalists for the 2021 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday (Feb. 24).

The annual honor in its seventh year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. Joining Hauser on the list are Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Isaiah Livers (Michigan), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers) and Terrence Shannon, Jr. (Texas Tech).

Hauser leads No. 15 Virginia (15-5) in scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg) and 3-pointers (48). He is shooting 51.4. percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 85.3 percent from the free throw line. He has reached double figures in scoring in 18 contests, including a season-high 23 points against Pitt and 22 vs. Georgia Tech.

A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in January and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2021 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, February 26 on

“Selecting our winner for this year’s award will take great attention and research down the homestretch of the season,” said Julius Erving, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 1993. “The committee members and I are certainly excited to watch them play, and we hope the fans will join us in voting to make their opinions heard.”

The winner of the 2021 Julius Erving Award will be presented on ESPN, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Additional information about the award presentation, including date and time, will be released in the coming weeks.

Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Saddiq Bey, Villanova (2020), Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga (2019), Mikal Bridges, Villanova (2018), Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).

For more information and the latest updates on the 2021 Julius Erving Award, log onto and follow @hoophall and #ErvingAward on Twitter and Instagram.