Antawn Jamison, the unanimous National College Basketball Player of the Year as a University of North Carolina forward in 1998, and the first men’s basketball player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn first-team all-conference honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior, is one of six players and two coaches elected to the NABC Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Jamison is joined in the class by the late Len Bias of Maryland, UCLA’s David Greenwood, Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins, Ohio State’s Jim Jackson, Kansas’s Paul Pierce and coaches Rick Byrd and Tom Penders.
The honorees will be enshrined in November 2021 in Kansas City at the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Celebration presented by Nike.
Jamison will be the 12th Tar Heel enshrined in the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame with
coaches Ben Carnevale, Frank McGuire, Dean Smith, Larry Brown (who played at UNC) and Roy Williams, and players Billy Cunningham, Bob McAdoo, James Worthy, Phil Ford, Charlie Scott and Sam Perkins.
Jamison was just the second Tar Heel and third player in ACC history to be named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, NCAA Regional MVP and National Player of the Year in the same season (1997-98).
“Antawn had that rare combination of being extremely talented and an exceptional work ethic,” says Phil Ford, who mentored Jamison as an assistant coach under both Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge. “I was honored to be his coach. The bigger the game, the better he played. Coach Guthridge used to refer to him as a warrior, because he was so tough both physically and mentally.”
Born in Shreveport, La., Jamison moved to Charlotte and came to Carolina after attending Providence High School.
He scored 822 points as a junior in 1997-98, the second-highest single-season scoring total in UNC history, and set the UNC record with 389 rebounds that year. He scored 22.2 points and hauled down 10.5 rebounds per game, the first Tar Heel to average a double-double in 22 seasons in leading the Tar Heels to a 34-4 record and the No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.
That season, he was named the ACC Male Athlete of the Year (for all sports) and a consensus first-team All-America.
Jamison teamed with Vince Carter, Shammond Williams, Ed Cota and Ademola Okulaja to lead UNC to back-to-back ACC Tournament titles and Final Fours in 1997 and 1998.
He grabbed 20 rebounds at Virginia as a freshman and was the first freshman to ever lead the ACC in field goal percentage, when he shot 62.4 percent from the floor. A two-time future NBA All-Star (2005 and 2008), he averaged 30.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in three home wins over Duke and overcame a leg injury in the semifinals to have 22 points and 18 rebounds in the 1998 ACC Tournament championship game victory over the Blue Devils.
He is the co-leader in career ACC Player of the Week honors with 12.
Jamison concluded his UNC career with 1,974 points and 1,027 rebounds. The fourth pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft, Jamison played 16 seasons in the NBA, where he averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds and totaled 20,042 points. In his third season, he scored 51 points in consecutive games against Seattle and the L.A. Lakers. In 2003-04, he was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. He retired from the NBA as a player following the 2013-14 season, and currently is director of pro personnel with the Washington Wizards.
The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame is located inside The College Basketball Experience (CBE), a world-class experiential entertainment facility adjacent to Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center. The Class of 2021 will be the 16th induction class in the Hall of Fame’s history.
The NABC is the National Association of Basketball Coaches.