NBA All-Star Weekend is coming up soon, and New Orleans is getting ready to welcome the best of the best into the city. A big part of the festivities each year is the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, a game that honors young up-and-comers in the league. The game will be played on Friday, February 17 at 9pm, and will be televised live on TNT.
The format has changed quite a few times in the last several years; one year, it was freshman vs sophomores; another year, it was Team Chuck vs Team Shaq, with players selected by Charles Barkley & Shaquille O’Neal.
This year, the format is Team USA vs Team World, meaning each player on Team USA was born in the United States, and each player on Team World was born outside the USA. Four former University of Kentucky Wildcats will take the floor.
Team USA will feature Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Both men had great experiences during All Star Weekend last year: Towns defeated Isaiah Thomas to win the Skills Competition, and Booker faced off against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the final round of the 3-Point Shootout.
Team World will feature Trey Lyles of the Utah Jazz, and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. Both men are from Canada. Trey Lyles played in the Rising Stars Challenge last year, a late addition to the roster for Team World, replacing the injured Nikola Mirotic. This is of course Jamal Murray’s first All Star Weekend after being drafted this season.
Be sure to tune in to TNT on February 17 to watch these young stars show their stuff!