CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Jayden Gardner was one of 20 players named to the watch list for the 2023 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday (Oct. 27).

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 and was listed as one of the league’s 75 greatest players in 2021. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996).

Gardner, who transferred to Virginia after three seasons at East Carolina, helped the Cavaliers to a 21-14 record and NIT quarterfinal appearance in 2021-22. Gardner earned All-ACC third-team honors, ranking seventh in the league in field goal percentage (50.1%) and free throw percentage (79.3%), 12th in scoring (15.3 ppg) and 17th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). Gardner ranks fifth among all active Division I players in career points (1,999) and rebounds (928). He is a two-time All-American Athletic Conference first-team honoree. Gardner was name to the Malone Award Watch List last season.

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds beginning Friday, Oct. 28. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2023 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.

The winner of the 2023 Karl Malone Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center), in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Keegan Murray, Iowa (2022), Drew Timme, Gonzaga (2021), Obi Toppin, Dayton (2020), 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 2023 Karl Malone Award and the latest updates, visit and follow @hoophall and #MaloneAward on Twitter and Instagram.

2023 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Candidates
Enrique Freeman, Akron
Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona
Johni Broome, Auburn
Arthur Kaluma, Creighton
DaRon Holmes II, Dayton
Kyle Filipowski, Duke
Jalen Slawson, Furman
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Jarace Walker, Houston
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Kris Murray, Iowa
KJ Williams, LSU
Donta Scott, Maryland
DeAndre Williams, Memphis
Norchad Omier, Miami (FL)
Pete Nance, North Carolina
GG Jackson, South Carolina
Jayden Gardner, Virginia
Justyn Mutts, Virginia Tech
Graham Ike, Wyoming