- Season to conclude with John R. Wooden Award winners, five Basketball Hall of Fame award winners announced
- Villanova’s Jay Wright honored as a John R. Wooden Legend of Coaching
- Fan Jam festival returns to L.A. LIVE plaza
The 2017-18 college basketball season will officially close out on Friday, April 6, when ESPN2 televises the College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s live at 8 p.m. ET from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles. Debuting a brand new graphics and animations package along with a new set design and house music by DJ Hapa, the 90-minute hoops celebration will see winners named for: John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s (Player of the Year – Men), John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s (Player of the Year – Women), John R. Wooden Award (Legends of Coaching), Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard of the Year), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard of the Year), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward of the Year), Karl Malone Award (Power Forward of the Year) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center of the Year).
The ESPN College GameDay by State Farm team of Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams along with reporter Molly McGrath will interview winners, present awards and relive the season’s best moments. Features will include ‘the year in review’ for men’s and women’s basketball, a return visit for several nominees to the set of ABC’s General Hospital, and an entertaining look back at the life of John Wooden in a ‘whiteboard animation’ treatment narrated by Sean Farnham.
Hall of Fame players Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Jerry West will be on hand to present their respective awards, as will former Wooden Award winner Chiney Ogwumike, who will present to this year’s recipient.
Expected to attend are men’s college players Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Devonte’ Graham (Kansas) and Trae Young (Oklahoma); and women’s college players Asia Durr (Louisville), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon), Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut), Gabby Williams (Connecticut) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
Rounding out the event, Villanova head coach Jay Wright will receive the 2018 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award™ from former Wildcats standout Randy Foye in recognition of his 17 years leading Villanova to two NCAA championship titles, multiple BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles and the top win percentage in NCAA tournament play.
Return of Fan Jam festival
After a successful first year, the Fan Jam festival will again take place at the L.A. LIVE plaza in downtown Los Angeles beginning at noon PT. The free-to-the-public event will be jam packed with entertainment and fan participation opportunities as well as the presentation of the John R. Wooden High School Players of the Year presented by Wells Fargo for the CIF Division. The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department will battle it out in a basketball game featuring celebrity coaches, and later on the John R. Wooden Award Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year finalists and Basketball Hall of Fame award winners will also coach two youth basketball games – Team Frosty vs Team Small Fry and Team Double Stack vs Team Baconator.
Chet Buchanan of 98.5 KLUC Las Vegas will lead a Coach Conversation with John R. Wooden Legend of Coaching recipient and Villanova Head Coach, Jay Wright, followed by slam dunk shows, drumline, college cheer and dance team performances. Participants will have the chance to win prizes, including tickets to The College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s, which take place later that evening at The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live at 5 p.m. PT.
A full list of the winners and accompanying images will be released immediately following the telecast and available at espnmediazone.com.