SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the five finalists for the 2018 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Named after Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star Julius Erving, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.

A national committee of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers narrowed the original watch list of 20 players down to 10 candidates and now just five finalists. This month, the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans are encouraged to visit http://www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 9-23.

“For each of the past four seasons, I’ve truly enjoyed the task of evaluating talent and helping to select the top small forward in the college game,” said Julius Erving. “These five young men have worked tirelessly this season to prove themselves and make their teams better. It is going to be a lot of fun to watch them play down the stretch, when it matters most.”

The five finalists for the 2018 Julius Erving Award are Kelan Martin (Butler), Miles Bridges (Michigan St.), Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio St.), Mikal Bridges (Villanova), and Trevon Bluiett (Xavier).

The winner of the 2018 Julius Erving Award will be honored at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018 (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.

Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).

For more information on the Julius Erving Award, visit http://www.HoophallAwards.com.

About Julius Erving: 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 where he shined for five years 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, Erving was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1993 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

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