MADISON, WI - JANUARY 20: Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers slam dunks during the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kohl Center on January 20, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Kaminsky, Dekker named to position award watch lists

MADISON, Wis. – A pair of Wisconsin men’s basketball standouts have been nominated for national awards at their respective positions, as senior Frank Kaminsky was named to the watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and junior Sam Dekker was named to the Julius Erving Award watch list, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this week.

The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, in its inaugural year, recognizes the top centers in Division I men’s college basketball. The Julius Erving Award, also in its inaugural year, recognizes the top small forwards in the men’s game. Each watch list contains 15 candidates determined by a national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel.

“For many years the Basketball Hall of Fame has recognized the top collegiate point guards in the nation with the Bob Cousy Award. We are excited to expand upon these awards by now recognizing the top players at each position,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “When it comes to collegiate centers, none have accomplished more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and we are pleased to include him in this celebration of the best in the game today. Dr. J is one of the most gifted athletes to ever play the game of basketball. As a small forward, Julius Erving excelled at both the collegiate and professional level for nearly thirty years. It only seems right that this award would bear his name.”

By early March, the current lists of 15 finalists for both the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and 2015 Julius Erving Award will be narrowed down to five players. The final five players in contention for the award will then be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and Mr. Erving, along with the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.

The winner of the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and 2015 Julius Erving Award will each be presented at ESPN’s new College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California, on April 10. The awards show will be televised live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. (CT).

Also a Wooden and Naismith Award candidate, Kaminsky leads the Badgers in scoring (17.6 ppg), rebounds (8.4 rpg), assists (59), blocks (38) and field goal percentage (.548).

Dekker is one of four players to rank in the Big Ten’s top 10 in points and rebounds during conference play, averaging 14.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.


2015 Julius Erving Award Candidates

Sam Dekker, University of Wisconsin

Stanley Johnson, University of Arizona

Roosevelt Jones, Butler University

Justise Winslow, Duke University

Branden Dawson, Michigan State University

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State University

Terran Petteway, University of Nebraska

Pat Connaughton, University of Notre Dame

Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State University

LaDontae Henton, Providence College

Anthony Brown, Stanford University

Jonathan Holmes, University of Texas

Vince Hunter, University of Texas, El Paso

Treveon Graham, Virginia Commonwealth University

Justin Anderson, University of Virginia


2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Candidates

Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin

Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas

Alan Williams, University of California, Santa Barbara

Josh Scott, University of Colorado

Jahlil Okafor, Duke University

Joshua Smith, Georgetown University

Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky

Jarell Martin, Louisiana State University

Kennedy Meeks, University of North Carolina

Brad Waldow, Saint Mary’s College

Stefan Nastic, Stanford University

Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse University

Jakob Poeltl, University of Utah

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt University

Daniel Ochefu, Villanova University

*courtesy Wisconsin Athletic communications

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site