CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia's Austin Nichols (Collierville, Tenn.) was one of 20 players named to the watch list for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday (Oct. 20).
Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its third 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.
Nichols, who sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring from Memphis, averaged 13.3 points and ranked third nationally with 3.4 blocked shots per game for the Tigers as a sophomore in 2014-15. He earned All-American Athletic Conference first team honors after shooting 49.7 percent from the floor and recording 6.1 rebounds per game. Nichols ranked among AAC statistical leaders in blocked shots (2nd), field goal percentage (7th), scoring (8th) and rebounding (9th). Nichols was named the AAC Rookie of the Year after averaging 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots as a freshman in 2013-14.
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. 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).
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy's in Los Angeles on Friday, April 7. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015). For more information on the 2017 Karl Malone Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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