SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. Among the 20 candidates were two Duke freshmen – Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, Jr. Duke was the only school with multiple candidates for the honor.
A 6-11, 234-pound native of Phoenix, Bagley III averaged 24.9 points and 10.1 rebounds for Sierra Canyon (Calif.) en route to earning the 2017 Gatorade California Player of the Year award. Regarded by many as the top player in the 2017 class after reclassifying, Bagley III earned USA Today All-USA first team honors following his 2017 season.
Carter, Jr. was a consensus top five recruit out of Pace Academy in Atlanta after 22.7 points and 15.5 rebounds last season. The 6-10, 259-pound forward was named the Morgan Wootten National High School Player of the Year, extending Duke’s record total of Wootten Award winners to eight.
Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“Karl Malone is unquestionably one of the greatest power forwards, a truly gifted player and an exemplary teammate,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “He had a phenomenal career and we are privileged to present an award bearing his name for the best power forward in the college game today.”
Karl 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).
“With this award, we have been able to recognize some extraordinarily talented student-athletes in college basketball over the past three seasons,” said Karl Malone, a 2010 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is an honor to be associated with such an award and I hope the young men named to this watch list feel a sense of pride in being recognized for their efforts.”
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 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 2018 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 6, 2018. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015). For more information on the 2018 Karl Malone Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Candidates
Nana Foulland, Bucknell
Gary Clark Jr., Cincinnati
Marvin Bagley III, Duke
Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
Nick Mayo, Eastern Kentucky
Yante Maten, Georgia
Rokas Gustys, Hofstra
PJ Washington, Kentucky
Moritz Wagner, Michigan
Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
Alize Johnson, Missouri St.
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Mike Daum, South Dakota St.
Reid Travis, Stanford
Obi Enechionyia, Temple
Dylan Osetkowski, Texas
Robert Williams, Texas A&M
Zach Smith, Texas Tech
William Lee, UAB
Bennie Boatwright, USC
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*