Chicagoan Anthony Davis, of the New Orleans Pelicans, headlines the sophomores roster in the National Basketball Association Rising Stars game at NBA All-Star weekend. The NBA announced rosters for the Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 14, in New Orleans during NBA All-Star weekend 2014.
Former Michigan man Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz headlines the rookies. You’ll notice there’s no #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. That’s to be expected as he’s been a total disaster of a draft choice for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Other midwest representation includes Andre Drummond, who has started all 45 games for the Pistons this season averaging 12.6 points, a team-leading 12.7 rebounds, Among NBA leaders he ranks third in rebounds (12.7), first in offensive rebounds per game (5.1), third in field goal percentage (60.0% FG) and eighth in blocks (1.82).
And Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, 19, who is averaging 7.0 points (7th among NBA rookies), 4.7 rebounds (2nd) and 1.8 assists (T-9th) per game in his rookie season. The youngest player in the NBA, Antetokounmpo also became the youngest Buck ever to earn a starting nod
The Rising Stars Challenge — televised live nationally on TNT at 8 p.m. CST and broadcast live on ESPN Radio features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.
Joining Anthony Davis and Drummond among sophomores selected to participate are the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger, the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters.
Burke and Antetokounmpo are joined in the player pool by fellow rookies Steven Adams (God Defend New Zealand) of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks’ Pero Antic, the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway, Jr., the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.
This marks the third straight year rookies and sophomores will be combined on the teams. The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, televised exclusively on TNT at 6 p.m. CST. General Managers for the teams will be announced at a later date.
Following the announcement of each team on Feb. 6, fans will be able to vote online from both their computer and mobile device for the starters of each team. The starting lineups will be determined by the players garnering the top votes for their respective positions, with two backcourt and three frontcourt spots for each team. The announcement of the starting lineup will be made in broadcast and in-arena on the night of the game.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar in media studies, he’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. A former writer for NBCChicago.com and WashingtonTimes.com, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks