Kentucky Wildcats freshman Malik Monk tabbed to Jerry West Award watch list

Malik Monk is the second Kentucky freshman to be placed on a preseason award watch list in as many days.

The Wildcats' highly-touted shooting guard was named to the Jerry West Award watch list on Tuesday. He is one of 20 candidates named by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Teammate De'Aaron Fox was selected as a Bob Cousy Award nominee for the nation's top point guard on Monday.

Monk and Fox shared MVP honors at this year's Jordan Brand Classic all-star game in April. They were rated No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, by Scout at their positions in the Class of 2016. The 6-foot-3 Monk also won the 3-point shooting contest at this year's McDonald's All-American Game while finishing runner-up in the dunk contest.

As a senior at Bentonville (Ark.) High School, Monk was the state's "Mr. Basketball" award winner. He averaged 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, highlighted by a school-record 53-point performance.

Previous winners of the Jerry West Award include Buddy Hield of Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell from Ohio State (2015).

The Jerry West Award is named after the former West Virginia University standout who 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.


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