Kentucky freshman Chris Livingston was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's preseason watch list for the 2023 Julius Erving Award on Wednesday. Named after the Naismith Hall of Famer and ABA and NBA icon, the award is in its ninth year.
Livingston, from Akron, Ohio, was a consensus five-star prospect, averaging 18.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per contest as a senior at Oak Hill Academy after spending his first three years at Buchtel High School. Named a McDonald's All-American and to the Jordan Brand Classic roster, Livingston was listed as the No. 10 overall player by Rivals, No. 11 by 247Sports and No. 12 by ESPN. Livingston was named the 2022 Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year after earning Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year honors as a junior in 2021.
The freshman is one of 20 candidates on the list for best small forward in college basketball. Kentucky is the only school with a total of four players on the three announced watch lists after Sahvir Wheeler was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list and Antonio Reeves and Cason Wallace were selected to the Jerry West Award watch list earlier this week. Other SEC candidates on the Erving Award watch list are Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James, Alabama's Brandon Miller and Arkansas' Jordan Walsh.
Fans are encouraged to participate in voting in each of the three rounds for the Naismith awards. In late January, all of the lists will be narrowed down to 10 players and five in February. Winners will be announced at a to be determined date.
The Cats will play exhibition contests against Missouri Western State on Oct. 30 and Kentucky State on Nov. 3 at Rupp Arena. Kentucky's home-opener against Howard is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter's Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.
On This Day In UK Basketball History
- On March 2, 1970, Dan Issel scored 42 points against Auburn.
- On March 2, 1991, before a crowd of 24,310, the then-largest crowd in Rupp arena history, the Wildcats closed out the 1990-91 season with a 22-6 overall record. Although UK was ineligible for the SEC title because of probation, the Wildcats secured the best record in the league (14-4) with a 114-93 win over Auburn to end its two-year probation. A ceremony and parade followed.
- On March 2, 1996, with a 101-63 victory over Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena on Senior Day, UK became the first team in 40 years to finish with a perfect record in the SEC, a 16-0 sweep. It was the Wildcats’ 25th win in a row, tying the school record for consecutive wins in a season. Two games later, they set the new record at 27 games.
- On March 2, 2012, Darius Miller, in his final performance at Rupp Arena, led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points on Senior Night in a 30-point win over Georgia.