Oscar Tshiebwe a Finalist for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe is one of five finalists being considered for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award which honors the nation’s best center, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Friday.
Joining Tshiebwe among the finalists are Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton), Armando Bacot (North Carolina), Zach Edey (Purdue) and Adama Sanogo (UConn.)
Fans can support their favorite player by participating in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, starting today on hoophallawards.com. The Fan Vote will count as one committee vote during the finalist selection process.
This month, the finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Selection Committee for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award is composed of top men’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers.
The winner of the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 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 Karl Malone Award (Power Forward), in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.
Tshiebwe is not only averaging a double-double but he’s breaking records in the process.
He is leading the country for the second straight year with 13.1 rebounds per contest to go along with a team-best 16.4 points per game. Among Tshiebwe’s Southeastern Conference-high 18 doubles, the senior has tallied six 20-point, 15-rebound contests this season after seven a season ago. He has 13 of the 55 such contests by SEC players in the last 10 seasons.
In just 63 games for Kentucky, Tshiebwe ranks eighth in program history with 894 rebounds. He has registered a double-double in 46 of those 63 games, ranking third in program history behind Dan Issel (64) and Cotton Nash (48).
He became the 61st player in program history to tally more than 1,000 points in a career and currently ranks 52nd overall with 1,065. Only two Wildcats (Rex Chapman – 1,073 and Bill Spivey – 1,213) have tallied more in just two seasons with the Cats.
Averaging 12.1 rebounds per game for his career, Tshiebwe joins Paul Millsap and Kenneth Faried as the only players since the 1996-97 season to average 12 rebounds per game for their career. He leads the country in rebounds per game and ranks second in total rebounds (379) – just six off the leader despite missing two games due to a knee procedure to begin the season.
In one of the best individual performances of the season, Tshiebwe poured in a career-high 37 points and added 24 rebounds in a home victory against Georgia on Jan. 17. It was the first 35-point, 20-rebound game for a Wildcat since 1976 and just the fifth such game in program history.
The Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo native has tallied double-figure points in each of UK’s last seven games and has produced four 20-point efforts in that stretch. He has generated 11 games with 15 or more rebounds this season.
Tshiebwe is racking up postseason honors by the day. The major honors he’s won or is a finalist for so far include:
- Sporting News Third-Team All-America
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finalist
- All-SEC First Team (coaches)
- John R. Wooden Award finalist
- Naismith Player of the Year finalist
- Oscar Robertson Trophy late season watch list