SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -
Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr. has been named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Karl Malone Award. Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its inaugural year recognizes the top power forwards in NCAA Division I.
Despite missing the last three games with mononucleosis, Nance has helped the Cowboys to a 20-6 overall record, including 9-4 in conference play, to sit second in the Mountain West standings. He paces the Pokes at 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 55 percent from the field. He ranks in the MW's top 10 in eight categories and the NCAA's top 50 in field-goal percentage and defensive rebounds. Nance is joined on the current list by fellow MW representative Christian Wood of UNLV.
On March 9th, the current list of 16 finalists will be narrowed down to five players. At that time a fan vote will be made available on the award's official website HoopHallAwards.com, where fans can choose who they think should win. The player who wins the fan vote will receive one additional vote when the final five in contention for the award are presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the Malone Award will be presented at ESPN's new College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 10. The Awards will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET.
Malone attended Louisiana Tech due to its close proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, La., and led the Bulldogs to an NCAA Sweet-16 appearance. He earned All-Southland honors in three seasons while averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He went on to achieve great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA First Team player and a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Located in Springfield, Mass., 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.