LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior Kevin Obanor has been selected to the 20-player watch list for the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award which was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Obanor is entering his first season with the Red Raiders after transferring from Oral Roberts where he averaged 18.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and recorded three double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament last season. A Houston, Texas native, Obanor earned NABC All-District and All-Summit League first team honors as a redshirt junior. He enters the 2021-22 season having produced 1,306 points and 684 rebounds through 86 games in his career.
Named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men's college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. Texas Tech junior Terrence Shannon, Jr. was an Erving Award finalist last season and is on the Jerry West Award Watch List this year.
Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will open up on Friday, October 22 so your fans can vote for their favorite players in each of the three rounds. 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 mid-February and then 5 finalists will be selected in March that will be presented to Julius Erving and the selection committee. Throughout this process, the list will be fluid and players will have the ability to play themselves on or off our list until the final 5 finalists are announced.
Obanor, who signed with TTU on July, 13 after exploring his NBA Draft options, led ORU in rebounding 24 times during the season and scored in double-figures in 27 of 28 games. He scored a career-high 39 points against Omaha in a game where he went 16-for-23 from the field and also had a career-high with an 18-rebound performance against North Dakota.
His heroics in the NCAA Tournament last season in Indiana included going off for 30 points and 11 rebounds in a first-round upset of Ohio State. Obanor followed that with 28 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Florida before having 12 points and 11 rebounds in a Sweet 16 loss to Arkansas. Obanor finished last season with 56 3-pointers made, shooting an impressive 46.3 percent from beyond the arc and is a career 42.5 percent 3-point shooter by going 122-for-287 during his three seasons at ORU.
Julius Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men's basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league's most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. 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 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just 5. In March the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame's selection committee where a winner will be selected.
The winner of the 2022 Julius Erving Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men's Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, Jerry West Shooting Guard 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 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (2021), Saddiq Bey, Villanova (2020), Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga (2019), Mikal Bridges, Villanova (2018), Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).
For more information on the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #ErvingAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, October 22.
2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Candidates*
Marcus Bagley Arizona St.
Matt Mayer Baylor
Kendall Brown Baylor
Jabari Walker Colorado
Hyunjung Lee Davidson
AJ Griffin Duke
Matthew Cleveland Florida State
Jalen Wilson Kansas
Lucas Williamson Loyola-Chicago
Emoni Bates Memphis
Caleb Houstan Michigan
Justice Sueing Ohio State
Ron Harper Jr. Rutgers
Julian Champagnie St. John's
Harrison Ingram Stanford
Timmy Allen Texas
Kevin Obanor Texas Tech
Jaime Jaquez UCLA
Patrick Baldwin Jr. UW-Milwaukee
Jermaine Samuels Villanova*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2021-22 season*