BYU Basketball’s Eric Mika named a finalist for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

BYU Center Eric Mika has been named a finalist for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo

PROVO – Friday afternoon, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that BYU sophomore Eric Mika is among ten finalists on the watchlist for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The award recognizes the top center in men’s college basketball as decided by a national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel.

Mika has led the Cougars to a 16-8 record during the 2016-17 season while averaging 20.5, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blockers per game. He leads the WCC in scoring, blocks, and doubles-doubles and is second in rebounding.

“I think that’s [a] tremendous honor,” said BYU Head Coach Dave Rose on Saturday following BYU’s 83-72 win against Portland. “You talk about the top ten centers in the country, I think there’s no question he belongs in that conversation.”

The five finalists will be presented to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee in March, and the winner will be awarded at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on April 7, 2017.

The 2017 season marks the third season the award has been presented. Previous winners include Jakob Poetl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).

Editor’s Note: this story has been edited to add the excerpt from Coach Rose.

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