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Wooden Award to be presented Friday at Club Nokia

 (Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

Freshman center Jahlil Okafor, the leading scorer and rebounder for national champion Duke, is among five finalists for the Wooden Award, which will be presented Friday at Club Nokia.

The 6-foot-11-inch Okafor led Duke with 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Two other Final Four participants, Frank Kaminsky and Willie Cauley- Stein, are also finalists for the award given to men’s college basketball’s top player.

Cauley-Stein, a 7-foot junior forward from Kentucky, averaged 8.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Kaminsky, Wisconsin’s 7-foot senior forward on a team that did not list a center on its roster, averaged a team-high 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds.

The other two finalists are Notre Dame senior Jerian Grant and Ohio State freshman D’Angelo Russell, both 6-foot-5-inch guards.

Grant averaged a team-high 16.5 points and 6.7 assists, helping the Fighting Irish reach the Midwest Regional final, where they lost to Kentucky, 68-66.

Russell averaged a team-high 19.3 points per game for the Buckeyes, who lost in a West Region round of 32 game to Arizona.

Voting by nearly 1,000 national college basketball media members and previous Wooden Award winners ended March 23, a day after the completion of the round of 32 games.

As insisted upon by the late legendary UCLA coach John Wooden at the award’s creation in 1976, all players under consideration for the award must have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 grade point average.

The ceremony will be televised by ESPN.

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