BYU-Gonzaga mbb Yoeli Childs dunk

BYU's Yoeli Childs throws down a dunk in the closing moments of the Cougars' 91-78 upset of No. 2 Gonzaga at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday that BYU forward Yoeli Childs is one of five finalists for the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.

Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.

The other four finalists for the 2020 Karl Malone Award are Obi Toppin (Dayton), Killian Tillie (Gonzaga), Jalen Smith (Maryland) and Reggie Perry (Mississippi State).

Childs, named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team earlier this week, is averaging 22.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 58.6% from the field and 48.8% from 3-point range. A finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a two-time WCC Player of the Week, Childs has posted seven double-doubles and scored 20-plus points 11 times. He has led the No. 15 Cougars back into the top 25 for the first time since 2011.

“We’re happy to recognize these elite power forwards as finalists for this tremendous award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Combined with our fan voting component, our committee and Mr. Malone will be watching to determine who will take home this prestigious award this season. We’re looking forward to some really great performances when it matters most.”

A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in October, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in early February and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Karl Malone Power 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. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live today via http://hoophallawards.com.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching these young men compete this season, as leaders on the court and in the locker room,” said Karl Malone, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010. “Working alongside the committee in choosing a winner has been a great joy, and we look forward to watching as these players compete in the coming weeks.”

The winner of the 2020 Karl Malone Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting Five. Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Additional information about the telecast will be released by ESPN in the coming weeks.

Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Zion Williamson, Duke (2019), Deandre Ayton, Arizona (2018), Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015).

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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