THE FLATS - Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammers is one of 20 Division I centers who have been named to the pre-season watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Lammers, a 6-10 senior from San Antonio, Texas, is coming off a breakout junior year in which he was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Lammers averaged 14.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while hitting 51.5 percent of his shots from the floor. He ranked third in the nation in blocked shots (125) and averaged more than 35 minutes per game in helping lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-16 record (8-10 in the ACC) and make a run to the finals of the NIT.
Kareem 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).
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 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 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award include Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015). For more information on the 2018 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
2018 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates
Dusan Ristic, Arizona
Austin Wiley, Auburn
Kingsley Okoroh, California
Tacko Fall, Central Florida
Marques Bolden, Duke
John Egbunu, Florida
Jessie Govan, Georgetown
Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech
Nick Richards, Kentucky
Omer Yurtseven, NC State
Isaac Haas, Purdue
Jock Landale, Saint Mary's
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
Michael Humphrey, Stanford
Vladimir Brodziansky, TCU
Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M
Thomas Welsh, UCLA
Chimezie Metu, USC
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*
The Yellow Jackets have two exhibition games scheduled against Georgia State (Saturday) and Faulkner (Nov. 2) before opening the regular season against UCLA Nov. 10 in Shanghai, China.
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Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its second year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.