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Weber State basketball: Joel Bolomboy is one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Joel Bolomboy (center) goes up for the layup. He  is one of the five finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and is currently third in the nation in rebounding and double-doubles.
Joel Bolomboy (center) goes up for the layup. He is one of the five finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and is currently third in the nation in rebounding and double-doubles.
Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics

Weber State men’s basketball senior Joel Bolomboy is one of the five finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The five finalists were released Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Named after the Hall of Famer, three-time NCAA Champion and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award is in its second year recognizing the top centers in men’s college basketball.

Bolomboy joins Ben Bentil of Providence, A.J. Hammons of Purdue, Jakob Poeltl of Utah and Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga as the five finalists for this year’s award.

The winner will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. By visiting Hoophall Awards, fans will have the ability to vote for who they think should win. The voting opens on Friday, March 11, and runs until Friday, March 25. The player that wins the fan voting will receive one additional vote for the award. The overall winner will then be selected by the selection committee on Friday, March 25. The winner of the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Friday, April 8, and will be televised live on ESPN2.

Bolomboy, who plays forward and center for the Wildcats, was named the Big Sky Conference MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a unanimous choice to the Big Sky All-Conference First Team.

The Forth Worth, Texas, native has had one of the best seasons in Weber State history in leading the Wildcats to the Big Sky regular season title. He started in 30 games this season and leads the Big Sky and ranks third in the nation in rebounding at 12.6 per game. His 377 rebounds so far this season rank as the third most in a season in WSU history, and his 12.6 per game average is the sixth best in a season. He has 24 double-doubles in his 30 games this season, ranking third in the nation and tying the WSU record for most double-doubles in the season.

This season he ranks seventh in the Big Sky in scoring at 17.7 points per game. He has scored in double figures 29 times. He also ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage at 58.8 percent and is fourth in blocked shots at 1.2 per game.

Earlier this season, Bolomboy became Weber State’s and the Big Sky Conference’s all-time leader in rebounds, now with 1,274 in his career. He has the second-most career rebounds of any active player in the nation.

He is also WSU’s career leader in blocked shots and currently ranks eighth in school history in career scoring with 1,449 points. He is also the school’s leader in career free throw attempts and is third in career free throw makes. Bolomboy has had 52 double-doubles in his career. He has played in 127 career games, third most in school history.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played college basketball for legendary coach John Wooden at 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).

He played 20 seasons in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers and was a six-time NBA MVP, made a record 19 NBA All-Star game and ranks as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history with 38,387 career points.

Last season, Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin was named the inaugural winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Paul Grua is the Director of Athletic Communications at Weber State University.