The league has officially announced the 18 players — nine rookies and nine sophomores — that will be eligible to compete in the “BBVA Rising Stars Challenge“, which will take place over All-Star Weekend in Houston on February 15.
Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving headlines the sophomore class. He will be joined by Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).
Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets will join Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers), Damian Lillard (Portland TrailBlazers) and Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers) to form the rookie class.
The most noticeable names not invited to the festivities include Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jared Sullinger (Boston Celtics) and Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors).
For the second straight year, the rookies and sophomores will be mixed together to form TEAM CHUCK (Charles Barkley) and TEAM SHAQ (Shaquille O’Neal).
A draft will be held on February 7th on an episode of NBA on TNT to determine the two rosters.
Once the draft is complete, fans will be able to go online and vote for the starting line-ups for both teams. They will able to select two backcourt and three frontcourt players, just as they did for the NBA All-Star game.
The line-ups will be revealed on the night of the game.
Both teams will coached by the lead assistant coaches from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs
During last years Rising Stars challenge, TEAM CHUCK defeated TEAM SHAQ 146-133. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers was named MVP after scoring a game-high 34 points.
Tags: Charles Barkley Charlotte Bobcats Cleveland Cavaliers Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Kyrie Irving Minnesota Timberwolves NBA All-Star 2013 New Orleans Hornets Orlando Magic San Antonio Spurs Shaquille O'Neal Washington Wizards