Men's Basketball
Bam Adebayo, Anthony Davis Selected to NBA All-Defensive Team

Bam Adebayo, Anthony Davis Selected to NBA All-Defensive Team

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Bam Adebayo and Anthony Davis, both star big men during their collegiate careers at Kentucky, have been named to the NBA’s All-Defense First Team, the league announced on Tuesday.

Routinely mentioned among the league’s top defenders, Adebayo garners first team honors for the first time in 2023-24 after being recognized on the second team each of the past four seasons. Davis, meanwhile, appears on the first team for the third time in his professional career and is tabbed NBA All-Defense for the fifth season overall.

In 71 regular season games this season with the Miami Heat, Adebayo averaged a career-high 10.4 rebounds, including 8.1 on the defensive end. He also boasted 81 total steals (1.1 per game) and 66 total blocks (0.9 per game).

A two-way star, Adebayo finished the regular season scoring 19.3 points per game on 52.1 percent shooting along with 3.9 assists per contest. He was named an NBA All-Star for the third time in his seven-year NBA career and led the Heat to the team’s fifth-straight playoff appearance.

Adebayo has consistently been among the top candidates for the title of the NBA’s best defender in recent years. Each of the past five seasons, the big man has finished inside the top-five in Defensive Player of the Year voting, including a career-high third place finish in 2023-24.

In one season with the Wildcats, Adebayo was the only player to start all 38 games for a 2016-17 squad that won the Southeastern Conference Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight. He was an All-SEC Second Team and All-SEC Freshman Team honoree. Adebayo averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game before being selected 14th overall by the Heat in 2017.

Joining Adebayo as an NBA All-Defensive Team selection is Davis, now in his 12th NBA season. The Los Angeles Lakers’ center ranked third in the league in total rebounds per game (12.6) and second in defensive rebounds per game (9.5) in 2023-24, both career-best marks. Davis also finished fourth in the league in both total blocks (178) and blocks per game (2.3), while averaging 1.2 steals per contest.

Davis was also a potent offensive threat this season, scoring 24.7 points per game, 15th most in the NBA, while shooting at a 55.6% clip from the field.

During his outstanding NBA career, Davis is a nine-time NBA All-Star, a four-time All-NBA First Team selection (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020), a 2020 NBA Champion and the 2017 NBA All-Star Game MVP. Starring on the 2012 national championship team at Kentucky, Davis was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and the National Player of the Year during a season which saw the Chicago native start all 40 games for UK. He led the team in points per game (14.2) and rebounds per game (10.4), while setting the program’s single season blocks record with 186 swats. He was the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Kentucky men’s basketball alumni continue to make a major impact on the NBA scene. UK led the country for the 12th straight season with 26 former student-athletes on NBA opening day rosters in 2023-24, while also pacing the nation with 22 representatives in the NBA Playoffs. At the 2024 NBA All-Star game, the Wildcats made history with a record-breaking seven players earning All-Star nods.

The 2023-24 NBA award season has already been a successful one for the Wildcats. In addition to Adebayo and Davis’s All-Defensive Team nods, Karl-Anthony Towns earned the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, Tyrese Maxey was named both the KIA NBA Most Improved Player, and the recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award and Cason Wallace was tabbed to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and on the web at

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