Bouknight Named To Watch List For Jerry West Award
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Nov. 3, 2020) — UConn sophomore James Bouknight (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is one of 20 college players across the country named Tuesday to the watch list for the 2021 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame sponsors the award, named for the Class of 1980 Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West. The annual honor, in its seventh year, recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. The award includes a fan voting element.
“We are now entering our seventh year of the Naismith Starting Five and the competition to make the list is as fierce as ever,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected to the preseason watch list and the young men we recognize should feel very proud. That being said, a player can be added to the watch list at any point in the season, so Mr. West and our committee are eager to evaluate talent as we return to on-court action in the coming weeks.”
Bouknight is UConn’s leading returning scorer from last season (13.0). He established himself early in the season, earning a place on the Charleston Classic All-Tournament Team. He exploded in the final weeks of the season, helping the Huskies to a 9-3 record in their last 12 games, averaging 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds during that span. He was an American Athletic Conference all-conference third team pick, and a unanimous selection on the AAC All-Freshman Team. This year, he was selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Jerry West attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
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 2021 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In late February, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Jerry West Award will be presented onFriday, April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Myles Powell, Seton Hall (2020), RJ Barrett, Duke (2019), Carsen Edwards,Purdue (2018), Malik Monk, Kentucky (2017), Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015).
For more information on the 2021 Jerry West Award and the latest updates,log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #WestAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, Nov. 6.
2021 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates*
John Petty Jr.
*Playerscanplaytheirwayontoandoffofthelistatanypointinthe 2020-21 season*