NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Graduate transfer Liam Robbins was one of 20 named to the preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award presented by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.
The winner of the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Junior teammate Scotty Pippen Jr. was recently named to the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award.
A 7-foot center, Robbins graduated from the University of Minnesota in business and marketing education this summer, and joins the Commodores after a breakout year with the Gophers and two seasons at Drake University.
Robbins led the Big Ten and ranked 10th in the nation in blocks last season. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks while shooting 44 percent and starting all 23 games he played. He also ranked 11th in the conference in rebounding and seventh in offensive rebounding.
In two seasons at Drake, the Davenport, Iowa, native, played in 64 games. He started all 34 games as a sophomore in 2019-20 and led the Bulldogs with 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. He set a school record with 99 blocks—third most in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) history—and finished fifth in the nation in that category en route to NABC All-District Second Team, All-MVC Second Team, All-Defensive Team and MVC Most Improved honors.
Robbins will be majoring in human development studies seeking a masters in education from Peabody College.
Abdul-Jabbar, for whom the award is named, played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the UCLA from 1966-1969. He is a three-time NCAA Champion who earned numerous accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969). As a professional, Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the league’s all-time leading scorer.