Jayhawk forward Jalen Wilson wins major award

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) drives up court in the second half of a first-round college...
Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) drives up court in the second half of a first-round college basketball game against Howard in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. Kansas won 96-68. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 3:55 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Jayhawks’ star forward Jalen Wilson has been named the winner of the Julius Erving Award, honoring the best small forward in NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball for the 2022-23 season.

The redshirt-junior finished the season winning the Big 12 Player of the Year award unanimously. He is also an All-Big 12 First Team selection and a Consensus First Team All-American.

Wilson finished leading the Big 12 in points per game (20.1), rebounds per game (8.3) and double-doubles (12). According to Kansas Athletics, he is the 10th player in Kansas men’s basketball history to record at least 1,400 career points and at least 800 career rebounds, and is the first since Perry Ellis from 2013-16. His 28 career double-doubles are ninth on the KU all-time list.

The Julius Erving Award is in its ninth year and is named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year ABA and NBA star Julius Erving. The award is one of the Hall of Fame’s Men’s Starting Five honors, along with the Bob Cousy Award (best point guard), Jerry West Award (best shooting guard), Karl Malone Award (best power forward) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (best center).

The Denton, TX. native is the first Jayhawk to won one of the Starting Five honors since Frank Mason III won the Bob Cousy award in 2017.

Joining Wilson as the winner of the Starting Five honors are Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell (Bob Cousy Award), Houston’s Marcus Sasser (Jerry West Award), Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis (Karl Malone Award) and Purdue’s Zach Edey (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award).

Wilson is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award, recognizing the national player of the year. The Naismith Trophy winner will be announced Sunday, April 2 and the Wooden Award winner will be announced Tuesday, April 4. Wilson was a finalist for the Associated Press National Player of the Year honor, but Purdue center Zach Edey won the award Friday, March 31.

Wilson still has yet to announce his future plans for the 2023-24 season.