Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert celebrates during the second half of an Elite Eight game against Southern California on March 30, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert celebrates during the second half of an Elite Eight game against Southern California on March 30, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Edmonds native Kispert wins Julius Erving Award

The honor is given annually to the top small forward in college basketball.

By Jim Meehan / The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert added another prestigious award to his growing collection on Saturday.

The senior wing and Edmonds native was named the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Kispert, who has been named to multiple first-team All-America teams, was selected over finalists Isaiah Livers (Michigan), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech) and Sam Hauser (Virginia).

Kispert ranked second in the West Coast Conference in scoring (18.9) and field-goal percentage (53.5). The 6-foot-7 King’s High School graduate paced the conference in made 3-pointers (2.93 per game) and 3-point percentage (45.3), the latter was fifth nationally. He was second in the WCC in 2-point percentage (65.3) and first in free-throw percentage (90.1).

Kispert, the WCC player of the year, has scored in double figures in 29 of 30 games. Gonzaga is 125-10 in Kispert’s 135 career games. That’s believed to be the highest winning percentage in Division I in the last 25 seasons for players with at least 100 career appearances.

Kispert joins former teammate Rui Hachimura (2019) as an Erving Award winner.

Kispert was also a finalist for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, awarded to the top player in the country. Iowa’s Luka Garza took home the Naismith Trophy on Saturday. The Wooden Award will be announced next week.

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