SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga’s senior center Przemek Karnowski was named to the Kareem Abdul Jabbar Center of the Year award watch list, announced Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Karnowski returns to the Zags for his senior season after averaging 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds for a Gonzaga team that compiled a 35-3 mark and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Poland native was first on the team in blocks with 39 and second on the team with a .622 field goal percentage.
Karnowski also spent the latter part of the summer and early fall with the Polish National Team playing in the European Championships.
Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its second year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“It’s truly an honor for this award to bear my name,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a 1995 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and six-time NBA Champion. “Last year’s finalists featured an elite class including Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor and Willie Cauley-Stein. We expect this year’s competition to be just as tough.”
Gonzaga is coming off a historic year which featured a school-record 35 wins, second-ever berth in the Elite Eight and school-record 22-game win streak during the season. The Zags also captured their third straight WCC regular season and tournament titles, while advancing to a 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.
The season officially gets underway with an exhibition against Eastern Oregon at home on Nov. 7, followed by the regular-season opener in Okinawa, Japan, against Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Classic on Nov. 13.