The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

McDonald named to 2019 Karl Malone Award preseason watchlist

The 2018-19 regular season kicks off at BB&T Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. against Wilmington

November 5, 2018


Colin Johnson

Drew McDonald (34) goes up for a shot during the game against Louisville, March 13 2018.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recently announced their 20 watch list candidates for the 2019 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. Among the 20 names selected for this year’s prestigious award was none other than NKU’s two-time All Horizon League First-Team member and recent gold medalist Drew McDonald.

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

Past winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year award include: Deandre Ayton (Arizona 2018), Johnathan Motley (Baylor 2017), Georges Niang (Iowa State 2016) and Montrezl Harrell (Louisville 2015).

By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players will be narrowed to 10, then in March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame selection committee. The winner will be announced at The College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on April 12.

Some of the standout names on this years list include Zion Williamson of Duke (the No. 2 recruit for the class of 2018), Luke Maye of North Carolina (NCAA champion and First- Team All-ACC) and Dedric Lawson of Kansas (First-Team All-ACC and preseason All-American)

“This is a tremendous honor for Drew to be named among college basketball’s elite power forwards and I couldn’t be more excited for him,” head coach John Brannen said. “From the moment he set foot on campus, Drew has shown an incredible desire to continue improving his game and to find ways to elevate the play of our team. This honor is representative of that commitment.”

The 6’8, 250 pound senior led the Horizon League in double-doubles and was 11th in the nation (18) while averaging 17.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2017-18. He currently sits 11th all-time in points (1,412), fifth all-time in rebounds (762) and seventh all-time in rebounds per game for the Norse.

In addition to his most recent accolade, the Cold Spring, Kentucky native was also named Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year for the second year in a row and was given the same honor by SB Nations Mid-Major Madness.

“The awards and accolades are great, but at the end of the day they are only preseason awards and basketball is a team game,” McDonald said. “No games have been played yet, and we have a long season in front of us. My main objective for the season is to lead my team to push for championships. Ultimately, that is why I play the game and what is the most rewarding.”


*For more information on the 2019 Karl Malone Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #MaloneAward on Twitter and Instagram.



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