INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 10 watch list finalists for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award on the first of the month. Named after Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star Julius Erving, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.
Butler junior F Kelan Martin is included among the 10 finalists. Martin’s 16.3 points per game lead the #16/15 Butler Bulldogs (18-5). His 5.7 rebounds per game are also a team high
“After excelling at both the collegiate and professional level for nearly thirty years, Julius Erving is undoubtedly a legend of our game,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “To be recognized as a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award puts these athletes in a very elite class.”
Julius Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. In 1996, Erving was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1993 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015). For more information on the 2017 Julius Erving Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Finalists
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Kelan Martin, Butler
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Jayson Tatum, Duke
Dwayne Bacon, Florida St.
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Josh Hart, Villanova
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2016-17 season*
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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