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Rutgers men’s basketball’s Clifford Omoruyi has been chosen as a member of the watch list for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the best center in the country.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the top 20 watch list members for the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Center Forward of the Year Award on Friday.

Omoruyi was one of the most improved players on the 2021-22 roster last season. The seven-foot center entered the NCAA Tournament last season leading the country in dunks. Omoruyi averaged career-highs in points (11.9) and rebounds (8.2) last season.

Omoruyi was selected to the 2022-23 All-Big Ten Preseason Team earlier this month. Omoruyi’s ascension to one of the best centers in the Big Ten was outstanding as a sophomore. In half the minutes played during his freshman year he averaged 3.8 points-per-game and four rebounds.

“It’s an honor to be selected, but the work has just begun,” Omoruyi said. “This offseason I have worked on my outside game and being able to expand the floor. I have been focusing on improving my midrange game, shooting threes, and playing great defense. I can’t wait to get started with my teammates.”

Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will open on Friday, October 28 so your fans can vote for their favorite players in each of the three rounds. Please help promote the fan voting to your fan base through your social media channels. The top 10 player selections from the fan vote will get an additional vote towards making the next round.

This list will be narrowed down to 10 in late January and then 5 finalists will be selected in late February that will be presented to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the selection committee. The winner of this award will be presented on a to be determined date. Presentation details will be announced at a later date.

Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.

Rutgers guard/forward Caleb McConnell was selected to the 20-player watch list for the 2023 Julius Erving Award given to the nation’s best small forward on Wednesday.

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