SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates, which includes Iowa senior guard Peter Jok.
Last week, Jok was recognized on the 10-member All-Big Ten preseason team. Jok (6-foot-6, 205 pounds) was a second-team all-conference honoree a year ago as a junior, helping the Hawkeyes to a third place Big Ten finish and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Jok ranked second on the team in scoring (16.1 ppg.) and steals (40), and first in 3-pointers made (80) and free throw accuracy (.852, 92-of-108) as a junior. Jok became the first Hawkeye non-senior to average 16 or more points since Chris Kingsbury averaged 16.8 as a sophomore in 1995.
“Jerry West is one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game, and is undoubtedly one of the most competitive players as well,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The 20 collegiate athletes on this list have proven to have a similar work ethic and we look forward to seeing their results as they compete this season.”
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.
“Now in its third year, this award’s watch list has included a tremendous pool of athletes and all the nominees should be very proud,” said Jerry West, a 1979 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is truly an honor be associated with this award and I’m looking forward to a great season of competition as we narrow our list of candidates.”
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015). For more information on the 2017 Jerry West Award, log onto HoophallAwards.com.