COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland men’s basketball sophomore Bruno Fernando has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, as announced Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The honor recognizes the top center in the men’s college basketball. Fernando is the first Terrapin to be named a finalist since the award’s inception in 2015.
Fernando has been sensational for the Terrapins, totaling 15 double-doubles on the season and eight in his last nine games. The double-double total ranks third in the country.
Fernando also leads the Big Ten Conference and ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage (.662), while ranking second in the conference in rebounds/g (10.7) and blocks/g (2.0).
The Luanda, Angola, native has statistically improved as the season has progressed, averaging 15.8 points and 11.2 rebounds over the last 13 games. He averaged 13.7 points and 9.4 points through the first 11 games. Fernando collected a career-best 19 rebounds in his most recent outing against Nebraska on Feb. 6.
“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar built a legacy at UCLA with unparalleled accolades as an individual and as part of a championship winning team,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Naismith Starting 5 celebrates the top student-athletes in the game today and we’re grateful for Kareem’s involvement and expertise as we work toward selecting a recipient in April.”
In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 12, 2019, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5. 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 Karl Malone Power Forward Award. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank
Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).
For more information and the latest updates on the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #KareemAward on Twitter and Instagram.
2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates
Daniel Gafford, Arkansas
Nick Perkins, Buffalo
Nico Carvacho, Colorado St.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown
Bruno Fernando, Maryland
Nick Ward, Michigan St.
Moses Brown, UCLA
Charles Basse, Western Kentucky
Nathan Knight, William & Mary
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2018-19 season*