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2014 Rising Stars Challenge Event Info

 


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| Feb. 14, 2014

2014 NBA All-Star WeekendAndre Drummond grabbed everything in sight, even that MVP trophy that came apart. Drummond had 30 points and a Rising Stars Challenge-record 25 rebounds, leading Team Hill to a 142-136 victory over Team Webber on Friday night. Coach Nate McMillan said general manager Grant Hill talked to his team before the game about performing like Denver's Kenneth Faried, who had 40 points and 10 rebounds while winning MVP honors last year. The message got through to Drummond, who grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. -Associated Press

Besides an impressive tally of dunks and rebounds, Drummond even managed to make his free throws. A 41 percent shooter during the regular season, the Detroit forward went 6 for 8, including a pair with 29 seconds left after chasing down Bradley Beal's missed free throw to give his team a five-point lead. He eventually got to hoist the MVP trophy, though not before it fell to the court when a representative from game sponsor BBVA tried to hand it to him. It comes in two pieces, a star on top of the base, and the presenter was apparently unaware when he grabbed it by the top. -Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters and New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. dueled in the second half to lead their respective teams made up of rookies and second-year players. They matched 3-pointers during one stretch that culminated with Waiters hitting a second straight 3-pointer to put Team Hill ahead to stay at 126-124 with 2:44 left. Waiters finished with 31 points, making 10 of 14 shots from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range for the team coached by former NBA standout Grant Hill. Hardaway, a rookie from Michigan, scored 36 points, making 12 of 23 from the floor and 7 of 16 3-pointers for Team Webber, coached by former player Chris Webber. -Sports Xchange

INTRO TO 2014 RISING STARS CHALLENGE EVENT

With the first pick of the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge draft, TEAM WEBBER selected Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans while TEAM HILL picked Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers second overall. TNT’s Hill and NBA TV’s Webber, general managers for the 2014 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, made their player selections live on TNT. The 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be played Friday, Feb. 14, in Smoothie King Center during NBA All-Star 2014.

In addition to Davis, TEAM WEBBER is comprised Kelly Olynyk (Boston), Jared Sullinger (Boston), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn), Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York), Steven Adams (Oklahoma City), Victor Oladipo (Orlando), Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia), and Trey Burke (Utah).

Joining Lillard on TEAM HILL are Pero Antic (Atlanta), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers), Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Terrence Jones (Houston), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto) and Bradley Beal (Washington).

Following tonight’s announcement of each team, fans can now 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 Friday, Feb. 14, the night of the game.

The head coaches for both teams are the lead assistant coaches from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Indiana Pacers Nate McMillan will lead TEAM HILL and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Rex Kalamian will man the sidelines for TEAM WEBBER.

NBA All-Star 2014 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 12th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 30th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2014 will include the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. The 2014 game will mark the second NBA All-Star celebration in New Orleans. The city also hosted the event in 2008.

This year’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge features a three-phase sweepstakes for fans at www.nba.com/BBVACompassRisingStarsSweeps. During the first phase, which ended yesterday, fans could vote for their favorite rookie. In the second phase, which begins tonight, fans can vote for the players they want on each starting line-up. The final phase of the sweepstakes will be during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, when fans can vote for the game’s MVP. During each of the first two stages of the sweepstakes, one voting fan will be chosen at random to receive a trip to one game of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. During the final stage, one voting fan will be randomly selected for a trip to one game of the 2014 NBA Finals. Three trips in total will be awarded.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

Below are the rosters for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, and all-time results for the game:

TEAM HILL

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee G/F 6-9 205 Filathlitkos/Greece R
Pero Antic Atlanta C 6-11 260 Olympiacos/Macedonia R
Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA 1
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA 1
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA 1
Terrence Jones Houston F 6-9 252 Kentucky/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA 1
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto C 6-11 231 Lietuvos Rytas/Lithuania 1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 225 Syracuse/USA 1
TEAM WEBBER

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp
Steven Adams Oklahoma City C 7-0 255 Pittsburgh/New Zealand R
Trey Burke Utah G 6-1 190 Michigan/USA R
Michael Carter-Williams Philadelphia G 6-6 185 Syracuse/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F/C 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA 1
Tim Hardaway, Jr. New York G 6-6 205 Michigan/USA R
Victor Oladipo Orlando G 6-4 215 Indiana/USA R
Kelly Olynyk Boston F/C 7-0 238 Gonzaga/Canada R
Mason Plumlee Brooklyn F/C 6-11 235 Duke/USA R
Jared Sullinger Boston F/C 6-9 260 Ohio State/USA 1

PREVIOUS BBVA COMPASS RISING STARS CHALLENGE RESULTS
1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 - Rookies 140, Sophomores 128
2011 - Rookies 148, Sophomores 140
2012 –TEAM WEBBER 146, TEAM HILL 133
2013 - TEAM WEBBER 163, TEAM HILL 135



-------------------------

January 29, 2014 -- The Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge event (formerly known as the Rookie Challenge), to be played on Friday, February 14, in New Orleans during 2014 NBA All-Star weekend.

Carter-Williams, the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, leads all first year players in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), rebounding (5.6 apg) and steals (2.41 spg). Davis, the league leader in blocks (3.27 bpg), is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. Lillard, the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year has the Trail Blazers near the top of the Western Conference standings thanks to averages of 20.6 points and 5.6 assists.

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge -- televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages -- features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.

Joining Davis and Lillard among sophomores selected to participate are the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger, the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters.

Carter-Williams is joined in the player pool by fellow rookies Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks’ Pero Antic, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke, the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway, Jr., the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.

This marks the third straight year rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. The Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, televised exclusively on TNT at 7 p.m. ET. General Managers for the teams will be announced at a later date. Last year in Houston, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried scored 40 points (18-of-22 field goals) and added 10 rebounds en route to MVP honors as he led his team to a 163-135 win.

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.

The head coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs are determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 2. Frank Vogel and his Indiana Pacers staff have secured the honors in the East, while Scott Brooks and his Oklahoma City Thunder staff earned the honors in the West. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs staffs, by virtue of having coached at the 2013 NBA All-Star game, are not eligible to coach this year’s game.

2014 RISING STARS CHALLENGE PLAYER LIST

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp
Steven Adams Oklahoma CityC 7-0 255 Pittsburgh/New Zealand R
Pero Antic Atlanta C 6-11 260 Olympiacos/Macedonia R
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee G/F 6-9 205 Filathlitkos/Greece R
Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA 1
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA 1
Trey Burke Utah G 6-1 190 Michigan/USA R
Michael Carter-Williams Philadelphia G 6-6 185 Syracuse/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F/C 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA 1
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA 1
Tim Hardaway, Jr. New York G 6-6 205 Michigan/USA R
Terrence Jones Houston F 6-9 252 Kentucky/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA 1
Victor Oladipo Orlando G 6-4 215 Indiana/USA R
Kelly Olynyk Boston F/C 7-0 238 Gonzaga/Canada R
Mason Plumlee Brooklyn F/C 6-11 235 Duke/USA R
Jared Sullinger Boston F/C 6-9 260 Ohio State/USA 1
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto C 6-11 231 Lietuvos Rytas/Lithuania1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 225 Syracuse/USA 1

PREVIOUS RISING STARS CHALLENGE RESULTS
1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 - Rookies 140, Sophomores 128
2011 - Rookies 148, Sophomores 140
2012 - Team Chuck 146, Team Shaq 133
2013 - Team Chuck 163, Team Shaq 135



------------------

2013 NBA All-Star WeekendThe Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and a 2013 NBA All-Star, and rookies Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge game (formerly called the NBA Rookie Challenge) to be played Friday, Feb. 15, in Houston during NBA All-Star weekend 2013.

Davis, the overall No. 1 selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, is tied for the rookie lead in rebounds (7.6 rpg) and ranks first in blocks (1.8 bpg). Lillard has won consecutive NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, and is leading first-year players in scoring (18.1 ppg) and assists (6.6 apg).

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge game -- televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages -- features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.

Joining Irving from the Sophomore class are: 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).

Davis and Lillard lead a group of rookies that includes Harrison Barnes (Warriors) Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cavaliers), and Tyler Zeller (Cavaliers).

This marks the second straight year rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams.

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7, televised exclusively on TNT at 7 p.m. ET. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will again serve as the general managers of TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ. Last year in Orlando, Irving netted a game-high 34 points and MVP honors as he led TEAM CHUCK over TEAM SHAQ 146-133.

Following the announcement of each team on Feb. 7, for the first time ever 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.

The head coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 3. The Chicago Bulls’ and Oklahoma City’s staffs, by virtue of having helmed the sidelines of the 2012 All-Star game, are not eligible to coach this year’s game.

2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge game Player Pool

Prior to NBA/ Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp

Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA R
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA R
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA R
Kenneth Faried Denver F 6-8 228 Morehead State/USA 1
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte G-F 6-7 232 Kentucky/USA R
Kyrie Irving Cleveland G 6-3 191 Duke/USA 1
Brandon Knight Detroit G 6-3 189 Kentucky/USA 1
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio F 6-7 225 San Diego State/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA R
Chandler Parsons Houston F 6-9 207 Florida/USA 1
Alexey Shved Minnesota G 6-6 182 CSKA/Russia R
Klay Thompson Golden State G 6-7 205 Washington State/USA 1
Tristan Thompson Cleveland F 6-9 227 Texas/USA 1
Nikola Vucevic Orlando C 7-0 240 USC/USA 1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 215 Syracuse/USA R
Kemba Walker Charlotte G 6-1 185 Connecticut/USA 1
Tyler Zeller Cleveland F/C 7-0 250 North Carolina/USA R

PREVIOUS NBA RISING STARS CHALLENGE RESULTS
1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 - Rookies 140, Sophomores 128
2011 - Rookies 148, Sophomores 140
2012 - TEAM CHUCK 146, TEAM SHAQ 133

==========

OLDER INFO



NBA rookie challenge gameThe AP reports: Kyrie Irving kicked off the aerial display with an alley-oop to Paul George. Cleveland’s rookie point guard then showed off his long-range shooting skills. It was so much fun that Irving wasn’t too upset that all those 3-pointers came in a meaningless game. Irving was a perfect 8 for 8 from beyond the arc and finished with 34 points, helping Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 146-133 in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Indiana’s George added 23 points but the night belonged to Irving, who picked up where another No. 1 overall pick left off in the NBA’s showcase game for its first- and second-year players. Wizards point guard John Wall earned MVP honors last season when he was a rookie. Irving said he couldn’t remember being so hot from the field. “No, it’s never occurred in my career,” he said. “You know, it’s kind of unfortunate that it comes in the All-Star game. These stats don’t carry over into the season. But at the end of the day, it was still fun to get out there with those talented guys. So it was a great experience.” Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson scored 20 points to lead Team Shaq. New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin only had two points.

Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: Irving, who added nine assists, said he was not delivering a statement about any perceived All-Star Game snub. He was not selected by coaches as a reserve for Sunday's game. Rookies seldomy make the game and first-year point guards are even a greater rarity. Former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas was the last to earn the honor in 1982. "It's not going to be anything harped on by me," Irving said. "It would be an honor to be picked in that game, but I've got a few more years left in this league." Both Griffin and Thompson talked some good-natured trash to Irving. Nothing worked. Late in the second half, he dribbled down the lane, curled back outside and drained a 3-pointer from the left wing, shrugging to fans as he ran back down court. "I worked my butt off during the lockout," Irving said "It feels good to finally be here playing with these guys."

Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog) reports: Wall also showed that the NBA might have made a mistake by not inviting him to the slam dunk contest. He caught an alley-oop pass from New Jersey’s Marshon Brooks and rammed the ball through the rim and into his face and pulled off another dunk that might be better than anything pulled off in Saturday’s competition. Duplicating a ridiculous dunk that he debuted in Chris Paul’s charity game in Winston-Salem last October, Wall whirled the ball behind-the-back along his waist, switched from left hand to right hand and threw it down. “I just wanted to try it again, and luckily I made it,” Wall said. “It was only my third time ever doing it, so I was shocked.” Wall planned on giving the fans another special dunk, by going between-the-legs off the bounce. He even waived off everybody and asked his friend and former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento to clear the lane. But Monroe wasn’t on board. Wall tossed the ball in the air, but before he could catch it off the bounce, Monroe slid in, without warning, to poach the ball and throw a full-length pass the length of the court to Cleveland rookie Tristan Thompson for a dunk.

Carson Ingle for the Deseret News reports: The Utah Jazz slumped heading into the All-Star break, but two of the team's young stars found victory in the first event at Orlando's All-Star Weekend. As members of Team Chuck in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Utah second-year players Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward were part of a 146-133 winning effort over Team Shaq. Both Favors and Hayward were pivotal off the bench, chipping in 14 points apiece. The duo shot a combined 10-of-13 from the field, but more than any individual numbers, enjoyed playing with each other on the elevated stage. "It was fun," said Favors on playing with his Jazz teammate. "He obviously knows how I play. I know how he plays. We just went out there and looked out for each other. When I saw him open and when he saw me open he passed it to me."

John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times reports: Blake Griffin, the first player chosen by O'Neal, was a starter but pretty much saved his energy after competing all three days last year in Los Angeles. He played about five minutes in each 20-minute half. He did excite the crowd with four uncontested slams in the second half, finishing with 10 points. He was five for six from the field. Cleveland's Kyrie Irving was the game's high scorer with 34 for Team Chuck. Griffin is skipping the Saturday dunk competition this year. "To be honest, I don't know when the dunk contest is," Griffin said. "Between this game and then the All-Star game and having stuff every day, I just kind of wanted to take a break and give my body a chance to rest tomorrow night."

Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports: MarShon Brooks admitted he was going into the event with scoring on his mind, but in 15 minutes for his Team Chuck squad that won over Team Shaq, 146-133, Brooks finished with eight points — and three assists. “Three? But one was an airball [turned into a score],” Brooks said. “I can get out of one of them.” Not that Brooks wasn’t looking to fill up the points column, which is his primary function with the Nets. “It’s a game within a game. Everyone out here wants to win MVP. I’m just going to try to do what I do, and that’s what I do: I score,” said Brooks, who entered as the second-leading rookie scorer in the league at 14.6 points.

Additional InsideHoops.com Notes: Team Chuck shot 64.5%, while Team Shaq hit 57.4%. And Team Chuck was great from three-point range, hitting 11-of-20, while Team Shaq chucked bricks from outside, hitting just 12-of-41 threes. Team Chuck also hit 15-of-18 free throws, while Team Shaq was a mere 5-of-7 from the line... This really was the Kyrie Irving show... Team Shaq guard Jeremy Lin received just 9 minutes of playing time, shot 1-of-4 and finished with two points... Team Shaq guard Ricky Rubio dazzled fans with his passing and dished 7 assists... Tristan Thompson shot 10-of-11 for his 20 points... John Wall shined for Team Chuck, putting up 17 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists... MarShon Brooks and Kemba Walker shot bricks.

2012 NBA RISING STARS CHALLENGE GAME PREVIEW

NBA All-Star 2012 will play host to the NBA Rising Stars Challenge game, which will introduce an exciting new format to a game that has historically featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. For the first time, rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. The event used to be called the Rookie Challenge game.

TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, serving as general managers for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, made their player selections Thursday night on NBA TV.

With the first pick of the first-ever draft for the event, TEAM SHAQ selected Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers while TEAM CHUCK countered by tapping Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the second overall selection. Each former All-Star then filled their rosters through the draft process.

In a Draft night surprise, TNT’s Kenny Smith, the Honorary Commissioner of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, added Norris Cole of the Miami Heat and Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks to the player pool.

Team Shaq
Guards: Ricky Rubio, Jeremy Lin, Kemba Walker, Landry Fields, Norris Cole, Brandon Knight
Forwards: Blake Griffin, Markieff Morris, Tristan Thompson
Centers: Greg Monroe

Team Chuck
Guards: Kyrie Irving, MarShon Brooks, John Wall, Evan Turner
Forwards: Derrick Williams, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins

The 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be played Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012. While Barkley and O’Neal functioned as the general managers for the draft, Smith served as the honorary commissioner and Ernie Johnson performed the hosting role.

Joining Griffin, Lin and Cole on TEAM SHAQ are Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons).

Besides Irving, TEAM CHUCK is comprised of DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), John Wall (Washington Wizards), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs).

This marks the first year in which rookies and sophomores have been mixed together on teams. Historically, the game featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. The participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

TNT analysts Mike Fratello and Steve Kerr will be part of the coaching staffs for the teams, with Fratello joining TEAM CHUCK and Kerr joining TEAM SHAQ. The head coaches for both teams are the lead assistant coaches from the 2012 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Chicago Bulls’ Ron Adams will lead TEAM SHAQ and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Maurice Cheeks will man the sidelines for TEAM CHUCK.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

Last year in Los Angeles, the Rookies won for the second consecutive year, 148-140. Wall earned MVP honors after recording a record 22 assists, five more than Chris Paul managed in 2007.

PREVIOUS NBA RISING STARS CHALLENGE (ROOKIE CHALLENGE) RESULTS
1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 - Rookies 140, Sophomores 128
2011 - Rookies 148, Sophomores 140



---------------------------------------

Last year's NBA Rookie Challenge Game

2011 NBA All-Star WeekendFriday night at 2011 NBA All-Star weekend the Rookies stepped up to beat the Sophomores 148-140 in the Rookie Challenge game. Wizards point guard John Wall was dazzling for the rookies, scoring 12 while dishing an incredible 22 assists, a record for the event.

The show was amazing just about every time Wall or teammate DeMarcus Cousins touched the ball.

With a no-defense game like the Rookie Challenge, you'd think racking up assists would be an easy thing to do, but in the past there haven't big numbers put up in that category. But Wall was determined to make it happen, and he delivered in spectacular fashion.

And then there's DeJuan Blair; shunned by NBA teams picking in the 2009 NBA Draft due to health concerns. Playing for the league-leading San Antonio Spurs this season, Blair has been more than solid, and a key member of his regular season squad's rotation. So it should be no surprise that in a game like this, he was able to step up and remind everyone that he's capable of whopping up on the opposition.

InsideHoops.com will post a Blake Griffin interview from after this event, along with other quotes. Keep reading:

The AP reports:

When John Wall turned the Rookie Challenge into a personal playmaking clinic, his former Kentucky teammate and his fellow No. 1 pick eagerly soaked up everything he had to give.

Wall racked up a record 22 assists to win the MVP award, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins had 33 points and 14 rebounds, and the rookies rallied to beat the sophomores 148-140 at the NBA’s All-Star weekend Friday night.

Blake Griffin scored 14 points for the rookies in front of the high-flying Clippers forward’s ecstatic home crowd, sticking to his commitment to play in the game even after making the West team for Sunday’s All-Star game...

Cousins went 15 for 24 in the fourth highest-scoring performance in Rookie Challenge history, matching LeBron James’ 33 points in 2004. Catching passes from Wall was a welcome respite for Cousins during a rocky rookie season in Sacramento, most recently including a suspension for fighting with teammate Donte Greene after a game last week.

Los Angeles native James Harden scored 30 points for the sophomores, and San Antonio’s DeJuan Blair had 28 points and 15 rebounds.

John Hollinger of ESPN reports

The finishing Cousins-to-Wall flourish was one of many highlight dunks in a game that featured virtually no defense -- it was the highest-scoring one in a series that has rarely been a purist's dream. While this one didn't quite veer into "Jason Richardson dribbling off Carlos Boozer's head" territory from the shambolic game in 2004 in Atlanta, it came dangerously close at times.

"There was some thought of vomiting at halftime," said sophomores coach Lawrence Frank, an assistant with the Celtics by day. "But look, it's an All-Star Game."

The best of the night's many dunks was a bounced alley-oop pass from Wall that Griffin converted into a twisting reverse jam. The Clippers' star finished with 14 points in his 14 minutes, sitting out most of the second half while the crowd pleaded for his return.

"They didn't tell me I was going to have that kind of duress," said rookies coach Mike Budenholzer, an assistant with the Spurs. "But he's got a busy weekend. I'm sure he's going to do a lot of amazing things Saturday night and Sunday."

Shaun Powell of NBA.com reports

Wall kept the crowd alive with several entertaining passes, even a bouncer to Blake Griffin for a dunk that was the game's signature play. However, most of his passes were reserved for Cousins, partly because they have a history, however brief, of knowing how to connect.

"DeMarcus' game has matured a lot," said Wall. "We talk and try to keep each other on the right path. He plays aggressively and people take how to play aggressively the wrong way sometimes. You can see, when he gets his head straight, he can't be stopped."

For one night, an encore as it turned out, two former college teammates couldn't be denied. Well, for the most part. Wall did get the MVP and the assist record. But perhaps Cousins grabbed something more valuable: a game that reminded him how fun basketball can be again, if he cooperates.

TNT ANalyst Quotes from NBA Rookie Challenge

Blake Griffin on playing in the Rookie Challenge: “It’s my home city and I wanted to come out here and play with these guys. It’s a once in a lifetime experience so I definitely wanted to do it.”

Chris Webber on Washington Wizards’ rookie John Wall: “He’s had a very good rookie campaign and I really like the way he’s handled his frustrations. Any time you come in and you’re hurt, you’re the point guard and you want to help your team. He won more games last year in college than he probably will win in a season that has three times more games. Just being able to handle those losses, I love how he keeps his head up and keeps working hard.”

Sophomore assistant coach Steve Kerr on what he told the Sophomores before the game: “All I told them was to play hard and have fun. It’s basically a pick-up game and when you play a pick-up game, you want to win. You just want to play hard and enjoy yourself. You don’t want anyone to get hurt or come in and take a charge but you want to compete and make it fun for everyone.”

Webber on Oklahoma City Thunder sophomore James Harden: “It’s really fun to watch Oklahoma. To be able to watch a young team start together and grow and develop together is really fun. (Harden) is a big part of their success.”

Webber on Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins’ frustrating rookie season: “Everybody has ups-and-downs as a rookie whether it’s hitting the wall or frustration. Cousins is a rookie that’s had some frustration and he’s figuring out who he is, where he is and how to play. Once he looks in the mirror, takes responsibility and just goes hard…he’s going to be good. I expect great things from him. It hasn’t been a great rookie year for him but it’s not too late to turn things around in the second half of the season.”

Rookie team assistant Kevin McHale on the lack of defense in the Rookie/Sophomore Game: “One thing I’ve noticed about my squad is, do you remember how your dad would walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways? Our guys are uphill only on defense. They are running like crazy on offense but it’s uphill on defense.”

McHale on Blake Griffin’s physique: “I looked at Blake Griffin and he’s got more muscles on his muscles than I’ve got muscles.”

McHale on the difference between his generation of players and the current generation: “We just played basketball all the time. We didn’t spend one minute in the weight room. So I think that we probably knew how to play basketball (better). These guys work out and do all kinds of stuff. In a push-up contest, I wouldn’t like my chances against these guys. But in a basketball contest, I’d take my chances.”

2011 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME PREVIEW

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, and Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin, the only player in the NBA averaging at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2011 NBA Rookie Challenge game to be held on Friday, Feb. 18, in Los Angeles during NBA All-Star 2011.

The participants in the NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge event were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

Joining Evans on the Sophomore team are: San Antonio Spurs center DeJuan Blair, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Serge Ibaka, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall, the top selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, joins Griffin on the Rookie team, which also includes: Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, New Jersey Nets forward Derrick Favors, New York Knicks guard Landry Fields, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson, Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe, and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal.

Last year in Dallas, the Rookies won for the first time since 2002. Sacramento’s Evans earned NBA Rookie Challenge MVP honors after recording 26 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Rookies’ 140-128 win.

The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2011 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The San Antonio Spurs coaching staff earned the right to lead the West All-Stars last week; assistant coach Mike Budenholzer will lead the Rookie team. The East coaching staff will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 6.

Assistant coaches for the Rookies are All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks and NBA TV/TNT analyst Kevin McHale. The assistant coaches for the Sophomores are All-Star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and TNT NBA basketball analyst Steve Kerr.

The NBA Rookie Challenge game will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio.

NBA Rookie Challenge Game Rules

The NBA Rookie Challenge game began its current format pitting the Rookies against the Sophomores in 2000 and the Sophomores hold an 8-3 advantage over the first-year players. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

NBA Rookies vs Sophomores Game Rosters

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
Eric Bledsoe L.A. Clippers G 6-1 195 Kentucky
DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento C 6-11 270 Kentucky
Derrick Favors New Jersey F 6-10 246 Georgia Tech
Landry Fields New York G 6-7 210 Stanford
Blake Griffin L.A. Clippers F 6-10 251 Oklahoma
Wesley Johnson Minnesota G 6-7 205 Syracuse
Greg Monroe Detroit C 6-11 250 Georgetown
Gary Neal San Antonio G 6-4 210 Towson State
John Wall Washington G 6-4 195 Kentucky

Mike Budenholzer – San Antonio Spurs
Amar’e Stoudemire – New York Knicks
Kevin McHale – NBA TV/ TNT analyst

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
DeJuan Blair San Antonio C 6-7 265 Pittsburgh
DeMar DeRozan Toronto G 6-7 220 USC
Stephen Curry Golden State G 6-3 185 Davidson
Tyreke Evans Sacramento G 6-6 220 Memphis
Taj Gibson Chicago F 6-9 225 USC
Jrue Holiday Philadelphia G 6-4 180 UCLA
Serge Ibaka Oklahoma City F-C 6-10 235 Brazzaville, Rep. of Congo
Brandon Jennings Milwaukee G 6-1 169 Lottomatica Virtus Roma
Wesley Matthews Portland G 6-5 220 Marquette

Head Coach – TBD
Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets
Steve Kerr – TNT NBA basketball analyst

Past Winners: History of NBA Rookie Challenge Game

1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 - Rookies 140, Sophomores 128





2010 NBA Rookie Challenge Game
February 12, 2010

2010 NBA All-Star WeekendSacramento's Tyreke Evans had 26 points and San Antonio's DeJuan Blair had 22 points and 23 rebounds to give the NBA rookies a rare victory over the sophomores, 140-128 in the Rookie Challenge on Friday night. Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City scored 40 points for the sophomores. The sophomores had won seven straight games and eight of 10 since that format was adopted in 2000.

Fans discussed the game live as it happened in this forum topic. Check out what they said before, during and after the action.

The AP reports: San Antonio’s DeJuan Blair told his fellow NBA rookies before the game that he was going to try to get every rebound. Then he went out and set a record. Blair grabbed a record 23 rebounds and scored 22 points for the first 20-20 game in the Rookie Challenge, leading the first-year players to a rare 140-128 victory over the sophomores on Friday night. “He started getting the rebounds for us. He did what he said he was going to do,” said Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans, who had 26 points and was the game’s MVP. “That’s why I wanted to share the (MVP) trophy with him.” Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City scored 40 points for the sophomores, but he was one of seven players on the second-year team who were handed a surprising result—consecutive losses in this All-Star weekend event.

The AP reports: Evans, the league’s top-scoring rookie and 14th overall with 20.3 points a game, made 11 of 15 shots to go with six rebounds and five assists. Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings had 22 points and eight assists, and James Harden from Oklahoma City also had 22 points.

The AP reports: Miami’s Michael Beasley, who scored 29 points in last year’s game, had 26 points this time. Golden State’s Anthony Morrow had 15 points and Minnesota’s Kevin Love, who had predicted a lopsided victory for the sophomores, had 12 points and six rebounds. O.J. Mayo from Memphis had eight points and 10 assists.


NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE PLAYER QUOTES
February 12, 2010

RUSSELL WESTBROOK ROOKIE CHALLENGE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

nba rookie challenge event - all-star rookie challenge game Question: Talk about your night overall.

Russell Westbrook: It was a fun game, unfortunately they came out with the victory but a fine team effort for us but just tried to come out and have some fun.

Question: Were you trying to get back into the game, to maybe get the scoring record?

Russell Westbrook: I was at that point, we were down by eight and that's when he took me out of the game. I was trying to get back in to get an opportunity to win the game.

Question: What about the record?

Russell Westbrook: No, somebody was saying -- I didn't refer to it though, but somebody said something about it.

Question: Could you just talk about what you thought of Pat Ewing as head coach?

Russell Westbrook: He's a great coach. He drew up a few plays on the sideline that worked to position and just told us, you know, go out and play hard and just play basketball.

Question: Are you finally adjusting to the NBA game now that you're a full-fledged veteran?

Russell Westbrook: Not yet, it's going to take time. I'm going to continue working and getting better and trying to make my teammates better and try to continue to work.


BRANDON JENNINGS ROOKIE CHALLENGE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

nba rookie challenge event - all-star rookie challenge game Question: Brandon, before the game, you were talking about setting the assist record in this game, and you ended up leading your team in field goal attempts. Is that just how the game flowed?

Brandon Jennings: Well, yeah, I just felt like that's how the game flowed, like you just said. I was trying to help the team win. Right now, I think it was like nine years before we even got a chance to win this game, so I think everybody came out and contribute, DeJuan Blair, he played a heck of a game, 22 points, 23 rebounds, that's amazing right there.

Question: At the beginning of the season, you started off really hot. Have you hit the proverbial rookie wall? Or is it because you have not played this many games? What is the difference between your play early in the season and now?

Brandon Jennings: Going through the different defenses. I don't think ever since that 55 points, I don't think I've been able to shoot an open shot since. Right now, we have a chance to make the playoffs. We are a couple games out of the playoff race. I wouldn't say I'm hitting the rookie wall. I would just say I'm playing the different defenses. Right now Andrew Bogut has been playing really well for us, and I think he should be an All-Star. It will be big for us, for the city and for the Milwaukee Bucks to make the playoffs this year. So that's our main goal.

Question: Where do you feel you stand between you and Tyreke with the Rookie of the Year race?

Brandon Jennings: He probably has it, and that's fine. He's putting up big numbers for his team and right now I'm just focusing on making the playoffs. And, I mean, you know, I have a chance to lead my team to the playoffs as a rookie point guard and that's something big right there, and also, Derrick Rose did it, too, last year.

Question: If you lead your team to the playoffs, do you think it'll affect your Rookie of the Year possibilities?

Brandon Jennings: Yeah, I think so, even though we are in the East, it's still the NBA and you still have to go out there can and compete every day.

Question: Talk about this crop of the rookie class of point guards.

Brandon Jennings: You know, it's tough. Our draft class is real, you know, guard-heavy right now, and you know, tonight, you've seen four guards out there playing all together, and was willing to sacrifice for the team and win. That shows a lot out of all of us I think.


TYREKE EVANS ROOKIE CHALLENGE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

nba rookie challenge event - all-star rookie challenge game Question: You made a gesture after the game to share the Most Valuable Player award with DeJuan Blair. What motivated you to do that?

Tyreke Evans: I mean, he set the tone for us. He started getting the rebounds for us before the game started, and he said everybody was going to get all the rebounds and everyone said he was going to that and that's why I wanted to share the trophy with him.

Question: How much fun was it tonight?

Tyreke Evans: It was a lot of fun, especially you get a chance, All-Star Weekend to come there and play with these guys after playing them this season, we get a chance to get out there and have fun with each other. It was just a good feeling for me.

Question: Were you loose out there? Do you have any goals for the game? What approach did you have?

Tyreke Evans: Just go out there and have fun and just try to excite the crowd. That's what the All-Star Game is for. We did a good job of pushing the ball. It started off with me and Brandon getting easy buckets and DeJuan did a good job on the glass.

Question: Did you and Brandon settle anything in terms of the Rookie of the Year race tonight?

Tyreke Evans: I don't know, I mean, Brandon is actually playing pretty good. We just wanted to go out there and get the win, but we talked about, I mean, Rookie of the Year, race between me and him and we just said, we're both playing good, whoever gets it, congratulate each other and we go from there.

Question: Do you think a worldwide spotlight like tonight will somehow affect regular season play?

Tyreke Evans: Definitely. I mean, we just got on a roll and we are feeling good ourselves. When we get back, we just want to try to get more wins and get better and better; and we're a young team, and once we get that, we learn how to win games, we are going to be a good team.

Question: Just talk about what it is for the rookies to finally win this game again. It's been a long time.

Tyreke Evans: That's one of my main goals tonight before the locker room before we came out, just said, let's go have fun. But at the same time, the most important thing is to get the win. The coach, he did a good job of being serious, even though it's the All-Star Game, I mean, he was on us hard. He did a good job of putting the pressure on.

Question: Just following up on your regular season, can you talk about what happened with you guys when Kevin Martin came back and you were trying to figure out how to play together?

Tyreke Evans: I mean, when Kevin came back, he was a little rusty, you know, so I was just trying to figure out a way to get him going on offense, I had not already had a chance to play with him like that; that because he was hurt. But when he got back, I was just trying to see where he like the ball and what I can do. We began to play with each other better now and get a better feel for each other.


DEJUAN BLAIR ROOKIE CHALLENGE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

nba rookie challenge event - all-star rookie challenge game Question: What are the qualities you had growing up that got you where you are today?

DeJuan Blair: Hard work and dedication. That's what got me here and that's what's going to take me where I want to go.

Question: Who were some of the players that inspired you when you were growing up?

DeJuan Blair: Charles Barkley. Tim Duncan. The list goes on. There's a whole bunch of them. I just try to play hard and play up to my ability.

Question: What did participating in the game mean to you?

DeJuan Blair: This is a dream, once in a lifetime. I just took it and ran with it. It was fun playing with all these guys and now I get to rest up.

Question: Was there a particular player you were looking forward to playing with on your team?

DeJuan Blair: Everybody. They send the best. All these point guards were excellent at getting me the ball and just playing their game and everything happened for a reason.

Question: How was the crowd out there with all those kids cheering you on?

DeJuan Blair: The crowd was excellent. I love the kids.


JAMES HARDEN ROOKIE CHALLENGE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

nba rookie challenge event - all-star rookie challenge game Question: What did this All-Star experience mean to you?

James Harden: It was great. Not a lot of people get to play in this game. It was great to go out there and play with some great guys and I just had fun out there. This is what this whole weekend is about, just to compete and have fun. It means a lot. Not many people get to go out their and showcase their talent. I was one of the few that was chosen and I just want to live it up and have fun.

Question: Were you looking forward to playing with anyone in particular on your team?

James Harden: All the Rookies. I've seen highlights of them when they are playing pretty well on their individual teams. Just to get us all together and get a victory, which hasn't been done in a long time, was just a great thing to do. On the other side, Russell Westbrook, my teammate, had 40 points. It was good to see him go out there and play well.

Question: How did it feel to play in front of a crowd full of kids?

James Harden: It was energized and it was fun. When guys made dunks and guys made threes they got excited. It was a great atmosphere out there today.

Question: What did you think about Russell Westbrook's performance tonight?

James Harden: He was aggressive, he had threes falling. Russell only takes a handful of threes in the regular season games. He had threes, he went to the basket, he did it all tonight. He played a great game. He was attacking the basket, which he's great at.


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NBA ALL-STAR ROOKIE CHALLENGE PREVIEW

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, the leading scorer among first-year players, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2010 NBA Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam game to be held on Friday, Feb. 12 in Dallas during NBA All-Star 2010.

The participants in the Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

nba rookie challenge game Joining Rose on the Sophomore team are Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez, New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and a pair of teammates from the Memphis Grizzlies – center Marc Gasol and guard O.J. Mayo.

Forward Omri Casspi, Evans’ teammate in Sacramento, joins him on the Rookie team, which also includes Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, and San Antonio forward/center DeJuan Blair.

The Rookie Challenge game will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

At halftime of the NBA Rookie Challenge game, the Clippers’ Gordon and the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan will compete in the first NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, a single-round slam dunk competition.

ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME COACHES

Two NBA All-Stars, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder – will serve on the coaching staffs for the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam to be held on Friday, Feb. 12 in Dallas during NBA All-Star 2010. Bosh will assist the coaching staff for the Sophomores and Durant will assist with the Rookies.

The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams – the Nuggets’ Adrian Dantley (Rookie Team) and the Magic’s Patrick Ewing (Sophomore Team) – are assistants from the 2010 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs, which were determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31.

First-time NBA All-Star and former University of Texas standout Durant was named Rookie of the Year in 2008 and was the MVP of the 2009 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, when he scored a record 46 points during last year’s competition to lead the Sophomores to a 122-116 win.

Bosh, a five-time NBA All-Star, was a participant of the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam in 2004 and 2005. As a Dallas native, Bosh came up through schools in the Dallas Independent School District, giving him a special connection to the 4,000 local students who will be in attendance at the game.

A six-time All-Star, Dantley was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, accumulating 23,177 points during his 15-year career and averaging over 30 points for four straight seasons. Currently in his fourth season as an assistant coach, Dantley earned Rookie of the Year and NBA Comeback Player of the Year honors during his playing career. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Ewing joined the Magic coaching staff prior to the 2007-08 season, and also has been an assistant coach with both Washington and Houston. The 11-time All-Star averaged 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in a 17-year NBA career. He earned Rookie of the Year honors and was a two-time Olympic Gold medalist. Ewing was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
DeJuan Blair: San Antonio F-C 6-7 265 Pittsburgh
Omri Casspi: Sacramento F 6-9 225 Yavne, Israel
Stephen Curry: Golden State G 6-3 185 Davidson
Tyreke Evans: Sacramento G 6-6 220 Memphis
Jonny Flynn: Minnesota G 6-0 185 Syracuse
Taj Gibson: Chicago F 6-9 225 USC
James Harden: Oklahoma City G 6-5 220 Arizona State
Brandon Jennings: Milwaukee G 6-1 169 Italy
Jonas Jerebko: Detroit F 6-10 231 Kinna, Sweden

Head Coach: Adrian Dantley
Assistant Coach: Kevin Durant

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
Michael Beasley: Miami F 6-9 245 Kansas St.
Marc Gasol: Memphis C 7-1 265 Barcelona, Spain
Danilo Gallinari: New York G-F 6-10 225 Italy
Eric Gordon: L.A. Clippers G 6-3 222 Indiana
Brook Lopez: New Jersey C 7-0 260 Stanford
Kevin Love: Minnesota F-C 6-10 260 UCLA
O.J. Mayo: Memphis G 6-4 210 USC
Derrick Rose: Chicago G 6-3 190 Memphis
Russell Westbrook: Oklahoma City G 6-3 187 UCLA

Head Coach: Patrick Ewing
Assistant Coach: Chris Bosh

ROOKIE CHALLENGE HISTORY

The Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam began its current format pitting the Rookies against the Sophomores in 2000 and the Sophomores hold an 8-2 advantage over the first-year players. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

PREVIOUS NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE WINNERS

1994 - Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 - White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 - East 94, West 92
1997 - East 96, West 91
1998 - East 85, West 80
2000 - Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 - Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 - Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 - Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 - Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 - Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 - Sophomores 106, Rookies 96
2007 - Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 - Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 - Sophomores 122, Rookies 116

nba rookie challenge game InsideHoops.com is your home for complete coverage of all NBA All-Star weekend events.
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2009 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME
February 13, 2009

The AP reports: Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored a Rookie Challenge-record 46 points to lead the NBA’s sophomores to a 122-116 victory over the rookies on Friday night. Durant shattered the record of 36 set by Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire as a sophomore in 2004. Durant helped hold off a late charge by the rookies with a three-point play, an emphatic dunk and two free throws in the final minutes.

The Sophomore team shot 60.0%, the rookies 51.3%. The rookies nailed 11-of-23 three-pointers, the sophomores 7-of-17. Rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and turnovers were fairly close. For the sophs, aside from Durant's 46 points (17-of-25), 7 rebounds and 4 assists, Thaddeus Young (6-of-7) had 13 points, Jeff Green (5-of-10 had 13, Rodney Stuckey (5-of-6) had 12 points, 9 assists and 3 steals, Al Horford and Al Thornton each scored 10.

For the rookies, Michael Beasley (11-of-22) had 29 points. Eric Gordon (6-of-8) had 19 points and 6 rebounds. Marc Gasol (4-of-5, 7-of-8 free throws) had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Rudy Fernandez (4-of-10, 4-of-8 three-pointers) had 14. OJ Mayo (just 5-of-12) and Russell Westbrook (just 4-of-10) each scored 12.

The Indianapolis Star reports: Eric Gordon was the second-leading scorer for the rookies Friday in their 122-116 loss to the sophomores in the Rookie Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend. The 2007 North Central High School graduate scored 19 points in the showcase event at U.S. Airways Center, behind only the 29 of Michael Beasley among rookies.

The Globe and Mail reports: "Kevin's a great player and I'm just glad to be on the court with him," said Beasley, like Durant a No. 2 overall pick in the draft. "I'm happy to be mentioned in the same breath as him." Decked out in Day-Glo orange high-tops, Durant hit 17 of 25 shots from the floor, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and made all eight of his free throws. Durant also tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. Durant helped hold off a late charge by the rookies with a three-point play, an emphatic dunk and two free throws in the final minutes. "I approached it like a regular game," Durant said. "I wanted to go out and have fun. Fortunately my shots were going down."

The Globe and Mail continues: The teams wore jerseys — white for the sophomores, purple for the rookies — designed by 18-year-old Tim Ahmed from East Meadow, N.Y. It was the first time a fan-designed jersey has ever been worn during an NBA game or event; in the past, rookies and sophomores wore their regular team jerseys.

The Chicago Tribune reports: Derrick Rose managed four points and seven assists in just 20 minutes 34 seconds, a nod to his lack of sleep. Beasley scored a team-high 29 points and Gordon added 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting. "It was fun," Rose said. "The crowd got me into it even though I wasn't really producing. Just being a part of it was amazing." ... The rookies clearly are enjoying the overall prowess of their deep class, with many league observers citing Rose and Memphis guard O.J. Mayo as leading candidates for Rookie of the Year.

NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE PREVIEW

nba rookie challenge gameOklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2009 NBA Rookie Challenge game to be held on Friday, Feb. 13 in Phoenix during NBA All-Star 2009.

The participants in the NBA basketball Rookie Challenge game were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. For the first time in the game’s history, two current NBA players, All-Star starters Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat – veterans of the Rookie Challenge basketball game - will serve on the coaching staffs, Howard for the Sophomores and Wade for the Rookies. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2009 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs.

Forward Jeff Green, Durant’s teammate in Oklahoma City, joins him on the Sophomore team, which also includes Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford, Los Angeles Clippers forward Al Thornton, Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young, New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey and a pair of teammates from the Houston Rockets – guard Aaron Brooks and forward Luis Scola.

Joining Rose on the Rookie team are two sets of teammates – guard O.J. Mayo and center Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and center Greg Oden and guard Rudy Fernandez from the Portland Trail Blazers. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Heat forward Michael Beasley and New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez round out the Rookie team.

The NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge game will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio.

In last year’s NBA Rookie Challenge event, Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson earned Most Valuable Player honors, making 11 three-pointers en route to a game-high 33 points, as the Sophomores cruised to a 136-109 victory. Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay added 22 points and Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar tallied 17 points and 11 assists. Durant, then of the Seattle SuperSonics, led the Rookies with 23 points.

The contest began its current format pitting the Rookies against the Sophomores in 2000 and the Sophomores hold a 7-2 advantage over the first-year players. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. EST. The game will also be telecast in over 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages and broadcast on NBA.com.

Below are the NBA Rookie Challenge players.

2008 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE TEAM ROSTERS

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER
Player			Team		Pos.	Ht.	Wt.	School/Country
Michael Beasley		Miami		F	6-9	245	Kansas St.
Rudy Fernandez		Portland	G-F	6-6	185	Spain
Marc Gasol		Memphis		C	7-1	265	Spain
Eric Gordon		L.A. Clippers	G	6-3	222	Indiana
Brook Lopez		New Jersey	C	7-0	260	Stanford
O.J. Mayo		Memphis		G	6-4	210	USC
Greg Oden		Portland	C	7-0	285	Ohio State
Derrick Rose		Chicago		G	6-3	190	Memphis
Russell Westbrook	Oklahoma City	G	6-3	187	UCLA

Head Coach – TBD
Assistant Coach – Dwyane Wade   

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER
Player		Team		Pos.	Ht.	Wt.	School/Country
Aaron Brooks	Houston		G	6-0	161	Oregon
Wilson Chandler	New York	F	6-8	220	DePaul
Kevin Durant	Oklahoma City	G-F	6-9	215	Texas
Jeff Green	Oklahoma City	F	6-9	235	Georgetown
Al Horford	Atlanta		F-C	6-10	245	Florida
Luis Scola	Houston		F-C	6-9	245	Argentina
Al Thornton	L.A. Clippers	F	6-8	220	Florida State
Rodney Stuckey	Detroit		G	6-5	205	Eastern Washington
Thaddeus Young	Philadelphia	F	6-8	220	Georgia Tech

Head Coach – TBD
Assistant Coach – Dwight Howard



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LAST YEAR'S NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME
February 15, 2008

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Seattle SuperSonics guard Kevin Durant, the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2008 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 15 in New Orleans.

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LIVE 2008 NBA ROOKIE GAME NOTES

Al Horford and his amusing accent did a great job introducing the Rookie team he's playing with, especially when he announced, "Also from the SuperSonics, Jeff Green, aka The Mean Green MACHINEEEEEEEEEE." He actually has an announcers voice, at least when it come to introducing players while sounding like a likeable foreign guy.

Rudy Gay introduced the Sophomore team and lacked the flair Horford had. And Gay actually dissed Jordan Farmar, saying "What's your name again?" to him before saying it. Someday, Farmer, or his kids, or grandkids, will get Rudy back for that.

The Sophomore team is wearing home white uniforms, while the Rookie team is wearing the individual away uniforms of each team's regular team.

Rookie starters: Mike Conley, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Luis Scola and Al Horford.

Sophomore starters: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Andrea Bargnani and LaMarcus Aldridge.

The first bucket of the game was a two-handed dunk from Andrea Bargnani, who soared down the middle of the paint for a run-away dunk. And a play later, Rudy Gay caught an alley-oop pass from Rajon Rondo and flushed it.

Kevin Durant, who hits a free throw to give the Rookies their first point, is rocking sweet bright yellow sneakers. I want a pair of those.

Bargnani on the break blrew a fairly open dunk. But he made up for it by showing great range with a deep jumper from the left elbow.

Luis Scola, who just scored, was playing defense all the way out to halfcourt and got called for a foul.

Gay and Durant have scored. Scola played nice defense on a Brandon Roy fadeaway.

And a play later, Roy drove and Scola played what appeared to be great defense on him, but got robbed by the refs.

At 15:33 Durant broke free for a sweet one-handed dunk that Rudy Gay chose not to try to contest.

Durant is dribbling so high I think Manute Bol could swipe it from him.

Al Horford is using his strength and sound, fundamental inside moves to score.

Dunk of the game so far came at the 12:00 mark in the first half, with Durant throwing down a sweet two-handed reverse after a beautiful half-court pass from Juan Carlos Navarro. Followed by an alley-oop from half-court from Rajon Rondo to Brandon Roy. Followed by Andrea Bargnani blocking a Durant attempt, leading to Al Horford dunking in the ball as it floated in the air. It's 24 all.

Jamario Moon and Sean Williams are in.

Daniel Gibson hits a wide open three from the left corner, exciting teammate LeBron James who is watching courtside.

Paul Millsap shows passing ability, hitting a cutting Roy.

Yi Jianlian, annoyed by a previous foul call, catches inside and uses whatever muscle he can pretend to have until a foul is called on the defender.

Rookie Team teammates Jamario Moon and Sean Williams combine for a 39-foot vertical leap.

Moon catches a pass on a break, jumps up and gets nasty with one hand, pounding it like I used to pound it on the young Akeem Olajuwon back in the day.

Play of the game so far came at 7:35 in the first half. Paul Millsap went for a dunk and was bothered by Sean Williams -- I'm not sure if Sean got a piece of it. But he did get the rebound, dribbling between his own legs as he hopped over a fallen player, drove the full length of the floor, threw it underhand with his right hand insanely high off the glass from the free throw line, soared in the air, caught the self-pass and slammed it down hard with the left. Insane.

Jordan Farmer sets Daniel Gibson up nicely for a three.

Sean Williams answers with a layup, but Gibson nails from outside yet again from the left elbow. His fourth three-pointer, making it 40-36 Sophomores.

Daniel Gibson again pulls up for a three-pointer from the same left elbow spot, and nails it.

Sean Williams answers again inside. He has 12.

Farmer swipes it and lobs up for Ronnie Brewer, who flushes it. Farmar always makes the right pass.

At 4:40 Brandon Roy unleashed a huge leap from a foot inside the dotted circle and tried to cram on Sean Williams' head, missing but drawing a foul.

Sean Williams shows passing ability, making a short but good pass to Yi Jianlian inside, who gets fouled.

Gibson was left alone from the left elbow -- brilliant defensive plan by the Rookie team -- but this time misses the three.

Gibson fires a three again, from the top, and nails it. It's his sixth three-pointer. The all-time Rookie Challenge record is seven threes from Kyle Korver.

Another perfect Farmar pass, hitting a cutting LaMarcus Aldridge for a dunk. Horford answers inside.

Farmar, being smart, in case I haven't mentioned that, dribbles right over to Gibson at the left elbow, flips a pass to him and sets a screen that Gibson shoots over, nailing his seventh three.

A few plays later Farmar catches and quickly shoots a three from the right corner, nailing it.

The final play of the first half was Durant catchign an alley-oop.

Halftime score: Sophomores 66, Rookies 52.

In the first half, Gibson had 21 points, Durant 15, Horford 13, Roy 13, Sean Williams 12, and Rudy Gay 11.

The halftime perforamce is from female singer Jordin Sparks who, following the tradition of All-Star weekend, is singing a nice song that does not "feel like basketball" at all, in any way. And random goofy fans who look strange together are swaying and clapping nearby on the court. But despite the song, the mood of basketball will resume soon as the second half begins.

The second half opens with rapid open layups and missed jumpers by both teams.

Mike Conley, who I haven't noticed yet in this game, sneaks inside for a quick layup.

Horford is simply far more physically dominant than anyone guarding him. He has 17 point and 7 rebounds.

The Sophomore team is simply outclassing the Rookie squad in just about every way, aside from Horford's fine play and Durant's bright yellow sneakers.

At 13:25 it's Sophomores 83, Rookies 67. It ain't over yet. We have at least 59 dunks coming.

Jeff Green takes advantage of a wide open left lane and flushes a nasty dunk.

Rajon Rondo, playing defense like current Celtics players are supossed to, steals it.

Durant has a very high, slow dribble on a crossover, and loses it.

Bargnani cuts baseline, Rondo sees and hits him with a perfect pass, leading to an easy bucket.

Luis Scola, looking very old school, posts and spins inside for a layup, using his body to shield the defender.

Durant draws a lucky foul on a wild mid-range shot attempt in traffic.

Yi Jianlian fires an off-balance jumper from the top of the key and hits it.

At 9:36 the Sophomores lead 95-81. It's still a game.

Both teams are playing. Everyone wants to win. We are not witnessing the height of intensity, but no one is slacking on the offensive end. Defense is another story. There's plenty of individual defense but not a lot of help, except inside.

Daniel Gibson, who I think just entered a minute or two ago, squares up for a three-pointer from the left elbow (sound familar?) and nails it, his eighth of the game, which sets a Rookie Challenge record.

Rudy Gay finds himself open for a dunk again, for the 832th time today.

Gibson fires again, this time off-balance and contested, and misses. But LaMarcus Aldridge gets the offensive rebound and flips it back to Gibson, and this time Daniel hits -- you guessed it -- from the left elbow.

Farmar nails a three. Heady. The kid is heady.

A Rookie Team fast break featured Juan Carlos Navarro going up for a streaking layup on the left side of the rim, but Jordan Farmar swooped in and blocked it, though it was called a goaltend.

With 6:03 left and the Sophomore team up 110-87, things have gotten even more loose, if that's even possible. Everyone now knows who is going to win.

Juan Carlos Navarro spots a cutting Sean Williams and hits him. Williams leaps, extending several feet more than human beings should be able to, and dunks it, sort of looking like a taller George Gervin. No, I'm not comparing the two players. They're very different. I just remember seeing some old Gervin dunks and somehow Williams matched the exact angles. Or something. Maybe I'm just crazy.

Navarro is getting hot. A few plays ago he hit a running jumper, then a leaning three-pointer, and now he just soared in the paint for a running floater that looked very international.

Sean Williams unleashes a wild dribbling display, getting past Farmar and then dribbling in-between his own legs bringing the ball from the back to the front before drawing a foul. If he did that in an NBA game, Nets coach Lawrence Frank would yank him immediately (then again, considering the state of the Nets, maybe not) but in this game it's fun and encouraged. In fact, I wish the NBA had more of that -- players just having wild fun and balling, instead of being robots.

Navarro, wide open from the left elbow, hits a three. He's made noise this half. Of course, everyone already knows he's a gunner.

At 3:00 left in the game it's Sophomores up 119-101.

Aother three-pointer from Gibson, this time from the left corner, with defender Jamario Moon right in his face. That's just nasty. Gibson is ripping the net like I (InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner) do when playing against NBA players in secret gyms during the off-season.

Gibson hits another three. He has 11 three-pointers. He's all Manute Bol out there.

Farmar swishes from outside. Sophomores now lead 130-103.

Jamario Moon has an open dunk, cocks it own with one hand and slams it. And then has another opportunity for a dunk but instead makes the mistake of feeding Yi Jianlian who, open right under the basket, blows a one-handed dunk, looking silly.

Plenty of back and forth buckets in teh final minute or so. But the game is over; at this point no one is even pretending to defend.

2008 NBA Rookie Challenge game final score: Sophomores 136, Rookies 109.

Daniel Gibson finished 11-of-20 from three-point range. He finishes with 33 points. That's like what I (InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner) used to do to an 18-year-old LeBron James in secret gyms during the off-season.

Brandon Roy finished with 17 points and 7 assists.

And, the 2008 NBA Rookie Challenge game MVP is Daniel Gibson.

For the Sophomores: Gibson had 33 points. Rudy Gay (9-of-12) had 22 points. LaMarcus Aldridge (9-of-17) had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Jordan Farmar (6-of-10) had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists and 4 steals. Brandon Roy (5-of-10) had 17 points and 7 assists. Ronnie Brewer (6-of-6) had 13 points and 4 assists.

For the Rookies: Kevin Durant (10-of-19) had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 turnovers. Al Horford (8-of-10) had 19 points and 7 rebounds. Sean Williams (8-of-11) had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Juan Carlos Navarro (6-of-11) had 14 points and 4 rebounds. Jamario Moon (6-of-8) had 13 points and 3 assists.

Both teams shot around 57% from the field, but the Sophomores hit 17-of-32 three-pointers, the Rookies just 4-of-9. And the Sophomores dished 38 assists, the Rookies 22.

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2008 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME PREVIEW

The participants in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2008 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs.

The Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam will be televised live nationally on TNT and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio.

Forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy’s teammate in Portland, joins him on the Sophomore team, which includes Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, Memphis Grizzlies forward/guard Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors forward and the first overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft Andrea Bargnani, and a pair of Utah Jazz teammates – guard/forward Ronnie Brewer and forward/center Paul Millsap.

The Rookie team features Durant’s Seattle teammate Jeff Green at forward, as well as Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford, Houston Rockets forward/center Luis Scola, Memphis Grizzlies guards Mike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro, Milwaukee Bucks forward Yi Jianlian, New Jersey Nets forward/center Sean Williams, and Toronto Raptors forward/guard and former D-Leaguer Jamario Moon, also a participant in the 2008 Sprite Slam Dunk competition.

If any rookie or second-year player is selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, he also will play in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday evening.

In last year’s Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, New York Knicks forward David Lee earned Most Valuable Player honors after shooting 14-for-14 from the field and scoring 30 points to lead the sophomores to a 155-114 victory over the Rookies, their fifth straight Rookie Challenge victory. Golden State guard Monta Ellis added 28 points for the Sophomores. Memphis’ Gay and Utah’s Millsap each scored 22 for the Rookies.

The contest began its current format pitting the Rookies against the Sophomores in 2000 and the Sophomores hold a 6-2 advantage over the first year players. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. There will be one mandatory television timeout in each half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. EST.

NBA All-Star brings together the top NBA players and performers for a week of competition, community service and world-class entertainment. Among the many other exciting All-Star events are the Slam Dunk, Three-Point Shootout, Skills Challenge, Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session.


2008 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME ROSTERS

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
Mike Conley Memphis G 6-1 180 Ohio State
Kevin Durant Seattle G 6-9 215 Texas
Jeff Green Seattle F 6-9 235 Georgetown
Al Horford Atlanta F-C 6-10 245 Florida
Jamario Moon Toronto G-F 6-8 205 Meridian CC (Miss.)
Juan Carlos Navarro Memphis G 6-3 170 Spain
Luis Scola Houston F-C 6-9 245 Argentina
Sean Williams New Jersey F-C 6-10 235 Boston College
Yi Jianlian Milwaukee F 7-0 238 China

Head Coach: Darrell Walker (New Orleans Hornets)
Assistant Coach: Bob Pettit (from Louisiana)


SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
LaMarcus Aldridge Portland F-C 6-11 245 Texas
Andrea Bargnani Toronto F 7-0 250 Italy
Ronnie Brewer Utah G-F 6-7 233 Arkansas
Jordan Farmar L.A. Lakers G 6-2 180 UCLA
Rudy Gay Memphis G 6-9 220 Connecticut
Daniel Gibson Cleveland G 6-2 194 Texas
Paul Millsap Utah F 6-8 258 Louisiana Tech
Rajon Rondo Boston G 6-1 171 Kentucky
Brandon Roy Portland G 6-6 229 Washington

Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (Boston Celtics)
Assistant Coach: Willis Reed (from Louisiana)


NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME RULES AND INFO

Nine first year players (Rookies) and nine second year players (Sophomores) will be selected to participate.

The head coaches for the Rookie Challenge teams will be chosen from the assistant coaches of the All-Star teams.

Two twenty minute halves will be played.

Each team will have one full timeout per half. However, two mandatory team timeouts for TV will be called each half (under the 10:00 and 5:00 marks). Teams will lose their full timeout if they do not call it before the 10:00 and 5:00 marks (under 10 charged to Rookies, under 5 charged to Sophomores).

There will also be one mandatory TV timeout (charged to officials) at the under 15:00 mark in each half.

Each team will also have one :20 second timeout per half.

Individual fouls will be kept, but a player will not foul out.

The penalty will apply after ten team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half.

The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

In the event of a tie game at the end of regulation, a 2-minute overtime period will be played.

The Sophomores will be considered the “home” team.

An MVP award will be given out at the conclusion of the game.










2007 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME LIVE ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME NOTES

This game is always fun. Although some disagree, I personally always love it when it turns into a dunk-fest. I mean, it's not like it's serious basketball. It might as well be fun.

Eddie Gomez, some little kid who sounded just as annoying as all pre-teens sound when they are yelling loud, announced the players. I think he announced Randy Foye as "Ricky," though I couldn't hear clearly. Otherwise, a good announcer, especially for a kid. He messed up in the last sentence, but has a future in broadcasting. Or, at least in yelling the names of players and the teams they play for.

The New Jersey Drumline played for a few seconds prior to the player introductions and kept a beat going.

Before the game, Chris Paul stepped out to centercourt and publically thanked the fans on behalf of both teams. Next to him was Rudy Gay, who informed fans "around the world that we are glad to represent the NBA." Yay!

Starters: Adam Morrison, Andrea Bargnani, Randy Foye, Rudy Gay and Brandon Roy for the rookies, and Danny Granger, David Lee, Deron Williams, Luther Head and Andrew Bogut for the Sophomores. First basket of the game was David Lee, off a pick and roll. Quite fitting. And the very next play Lee knocks the ball out of Rudy Gay's hand, streaks down the floor, and catches a pass for a two-handed dunk.

Randy Foye scored first for the rookies.

Andrea Bargnani drove into Andrew Bogut, who basically wasn't doing anything other than existing, but a foul on Bogut was called.

David Lee again, coming off a pick, catches a pass from Luther Head for a two-handed dunk. Sophomores up 8-2. Lee has six points and at least one board.

A three from Adam Morrison gives the rookies some life. But Deron Williams and Danny Granger hit for the sophomores, who are now about 8-for-8 shooting and up 16-7.

Bargnani showing a beautiful, smooth outside baseline shot.

Lee with a pick and roll again, catching a pass from Deron Williams for yet another dunk. As a New Yorker I wish Deron and Lee were together on the Knicks.

Granger pulling up for an awkward jumper over Morrison, missing it.

Very lazy defense by both teams.

Another Luther Head three puts the sophs up 26-15.

Almost every outside shot is wide open.

David Lee is dominating, with 5-of-5 shooting for 10 points and a bunch of other stuff. Next play, Deron Williams threw it off the backboard for Lee who caught it and dropped a perfect pass to nearby Danny Granger, who missed up close.

At 12:34 in the first half the sophomores lead 28-17.

At 11:05 Chris Paul lobbed into Lee, who caught and without coming down flipped in a layup.

The Sophs lead 36-20. Neither team is even pretending to play real defense.

Morrison hits a jumper, giving him 9 to lead the rookies.

CP3 lobs it up for Lee again, though it's broken up by a rare defensive moment. I didn't see who did it. I was too shocked.

A sweet Sophomore fast break from CP3 led to a Raymond Felton alleyoop. On the other end Morrison put in a quick weak dunk in return.

Both teams are trading unguarded dunks now, with Jordan Farmar on one end and Danny Granger on the other. Farmar then hits a wide open three from the left corner.

Lee is dominating. With 8-of-9 shooting for 16 points he's the early Rookie Challenge MVP favorite. And no sooner did I say that than he dunked again.

It's no contest. Substitutions keep coming in but the sophs now lead 55-33. I don't understand why the rookies aren't showing at least a little bit of pride and stepping up some defense. At least raise an arm or something.

Honestly, the rookies are going out like punks.

Chris Paul is dishing assists like candy.

The nicest dunk so far was a lob that Monta Ellis caught and threw down from the right side with one hand. I didn't see who threw it.

Monta Ellis keeps catching lobs and throwing down nice stuff. It's now Sophomores 71 Rookies 40.

Halftime: Sophomores 77, Rookies 48. The Soph's 77 points is the most ever scored in a half in this event.

At the half, David Lee has 18 points and 6 rebounds on 9-of-9 shooting. Deron Williams was also terrific.

In the first 90 seconds of the second half Lee scored two more times. He's now 11 for 11. The Sophomores are up 83-54.

CP3 is tossing assists like free money.

The rookies are getting destroyed almost as badly as InsideHoops.com destroys all other basketball websites.

Luther Head penetrates from the right corner, gets to the rim, drops a pass to Lee, who hustles up for an off-balanced layup on the left side that takes a bounce before dropping in. He still hasn't missed. And the very next play Lee grabs an offensive rebound and dunks it in.

The rookies are playing like heartless scrubs out there.

Lee catches a pass and all alone throws down a nice up-and-under dunk, putting the sophs up 99-65.

At 14:17 in the second half CP3 ran a break, dished to Lee under the rim who touched-passed right to Andrew Bynum. But the big Laker center wasn't ready for a pass and the ball bounced off his face out of bounds.

The rookies are basically insulting the fans with their pathetic display. At 11:03 the Sophomores lead 116-77.

There are definitely bunches of free tickets given to groups of kids. Because select groups are all basically screaming like wild the entire game. There's no evidence they're really watching the action or have any clue what's happening. Many aren't actually facing the court. But they're screaming. Nonstop. For literally 15 minutes at a time. Just screaming. Ear-piercing screams. Make them stop. I've seen groups like this at some NBA games, but there are hoards of them at All-Star.

CP3 is dropping dimes like rain. He has around 15 assists.

Finally the rookies come alive, thanks to Rudy Gay. They're now only down by 493823249.

At 7:23 it's 128-89. I'm kind of done paying close attention. I'll post again with a few minutes left, and then post final stats.

Final score: Sophomores 155, Rookies 114.

With 30 points on 14-of-14 shooting and 11 rebounds, David Lee was awarded the Rookie Challenge MVP award. The first Knick ever to win this game's honor.



2007 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE PREVIEW

Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani, the first overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Andrew Bogut, the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, lead a list of 18 players selected to play in the 2007 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The participants in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2007 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs.

The Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam will be televised live nationally on TNT and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

Joining Bargnani on the Rookie team this year are the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Farmar, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Randy Foye, the Toronto Raptors’ Jorge Garbajosa, the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, the Utah Jazz’s Paul Millsap, the Charlotte Bobcats’ Adam Morrison, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Brandon Roy and the New Jersey Nets’ Marcus Williams.

Teaming with Bogut on the Sophomore team are the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, the Golden State Warriors’ Monta Ellis, the Charlotte Bobcats’ Raymond Felton, the Indiana Pacers’ Danny Granger, the Houston Rockets’ Luther Head, the New York Knicks’ David Lee, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets’ Chris Paul -- the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year -- and the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams.

If any rookie or second-year player is selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18, he also will play in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday evening.

As title partner of the Rookie Challenge and overall NBA Rookie Program, has teamed up with NBA Cares to create the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, a unique opportunity for Las Vegas youth to experience NBA All-Star 2007. During the event, thousands of Huddle Up All-Stars, representing the Clark County School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and After-School All-Stars programs, will watch the game from the best seats in the house and fill the lower bowl of the Thomas & Mack Center. In order to qualify for the program, middle school students, between the ages of 11-15, from all over the Las Vegas Valley pledged their commitment to leadership, community service, reading, and citizenship.

In last year’s contest, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Andre Iguodala scored a game-high 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting to lead the Sophomores to their fourth straight win over the Rookies, 106-96. He was named Most Valuable Player after scoring 24 of his 30 points in the second half. Chicago’s Ben Gordon added 17 points in the win. The Toronto Raptors’ Charlie Villanueva and the Houston Rockets’ Luther Head led the Rookies with 18 points each.

This is the eighth year of the rookie-sophomore format, with the Sophomores leading the series 5-2. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. There will be one mandatory television timeout in each half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The Clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

For the third consecutive year, NBA.com will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count toward selecting the MVP of the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, as part of the site's exclusive NBA All-Star 2007 coverage.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18, will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. EST. The game will also be telecast in over 200 countries and broadcast on NBA.com.

NBA All-Star brings together the top NBA players and performers for a week of competition, community service and world-class entertainment. Among the many events are the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam; Sprite Slam Dunk; Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout; PlayStation® Skills Challenge; Haier Shooting Stars; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, the league’s interactive event that attracts more than 100,000 fans each year; and the 56th NBA All-Star Game.

Below are the rosters for the 2007 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam:

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER
Player		Team		Pos.	Ht.	Wt.	School/Country
Andrea Bargnani	Toronto		F	7-0	250	Italy
Jordan Farmar	L.A. Lakers	G	6-2	180	UCLA
Randy Foye	Minnesota	G	6-4	213	Villanova
Jorge Garbajosa	Toronto		C	6-9	245	Spain
Rudy Gay	Memphis		G	6-9	220	Connecticut
Paul Millsap	Utah		F	6-8	258	Louisiana Tech
Adam Morrison	Charlotte	F	6-8	205	Gonzaga
Brandon Roy	Portland	G	6-6	229	Washington
Marcus Williams	New Jersey	G	6-3	205	Connecticut

Head Coach – TBD
Assistant Coach – TBD

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER
Player		Team		Pos.	Ht.	Wt.	School/Country
Andrew Bogut	Milwaukee	C	7-0	245	Utah
Andrew Bynum	L.A. Lakers	C	7-0	245	St. Joseph’s HS (NJ)
Monta Ellis	Golden State	G	6-3	177	Lanier HS (Miss.)
Raymond Felton	Charlotte	G	6-1	198	North Carolina
Danny Granger	Indiana		F	6-9	228	New Mexico
Luther Head	Houston		G	6-3	185	Illinois
David Lee	New York	F	6-9	249	Florida
Chris Paul	New Orl./OKC	G	6-0	175	Wake Forest
Deron Williams	Utah		G	6-3	205	Illinois	

Head Coach – TBD
Assistant Coach – TBD
NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME RULES

- Nine first year players (Rookies) and nine second year players (Sophomores) will be selected to participate.

- The head coaches for the Rookie Challenge teams will be chosen from the assistant coaches of the All-Star teams.

RULES:
1. Two twenty minute halves.
2. Each team can call one full timeout; however, two mandatory TV timeouts each half (under the 14:00 and 7:00 marks) will be called. Teams will lose their full timeout if they do not call it before the 14:00 (Rookies lose TO) and 7:00 (Sophs lose TO) mark.
3. Each team can call one :20 second timeout per half.
4. Individual fouls will be kept, but a player will not foul out. The penalty will apply after ten team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half.
5. In the event of a tie game at the end of regulation, a 2-minute overtime period will be played.
6. Clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.
7. Twenty minute pre-game warm-up.
8. The Sophomores team will be considered the “home” team.
9. An MVP award will be given out at the conclusion of the game.










2006 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE

nba rookie challengeMilwaukee Bucks forward Andrew Bogut, the first overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft, and Orlando Magic forward Dwight Howard, the first player chosen in the 2004 NBA Draft, lead a list of 19 players selected to play in the 2006 Rookie Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

But Andre Iguodala stole the show.

The AP reports: Andre Iguodala says he still has some dunks saved for Saturday. The rookies might not believe him. Iguodala broke out his dunking repertoire Friday night and scored 30 points, leading the sophomores over the rookies 106-96 in the Rookie Challenge. The Philadelphia swingman is one of the four players in Saturday night's slam dunk contest, and he had a chance to show his leaping skills Friday. All three of his first-half field goals were dunks, then he helped the sophomores break open the game early in the second half with a few more.

The AP reports: Ben Gordon added 17 points for the sophomores, who led by as much as 23 points. Rockets guard Luther Head and Toronto's Charlie Villanueva each scored 18 points for the rookies, who were 7-for-26 (27 percent) from 3-point range. Chris Paul, the likely Rookie of the Year, had 11 assists and five steals but scored only eight points.

Ticker reports: Perhaps Iguodala's best dunk didn't count. A perimeter foul was called just as he began takeoff for through-the-legs one-hander that wowed the crowd at the Toyota Center. "Tonight is different and (Saturday) I have a few things up my sleeve," said Iguodala, who scored 11 points as a rookie in this game last year. "Everything you saw today, you have seen before. Iguodala then took his act outside, draining three 3-pointers to push the advantage to 91-68 with 7:09 left. He missed a through-the-legs job with his left hand but added a couple more slams. In all, Iguodala had nine dunks and four 3-pointers as he became the seventh player to reach 30 points in this contest. He was one of just three players in the game without a turnover.

The NBA Rookie Challenge game's box score is here.

Here's what Andre Iguodala had to say after winning the Rookie Game MVP:

Q. It looked like you had a lot of open dunks. Were you at all thinking about tomorrow with some of those tonight?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Oh, not at all. Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. I've got a couple of things under my sleeve. I want to try something new. Everything I did today, you've seen before. I am going to try some new things tomorrow.

Q. Do you have any legs left? You were really getting up there all night.

ANDRE IGUODALA: Yeah, and this is the third night in a row, playing Thursday, now tonight and then again tomorrow. You know, just going to rest up and get some ice. Just going to have fun tomorrow, not put any pressure on myself, just going to go out and have fun.

Q. Does it mean more to you to be the second 76er to get the MVP?

ANDRE IGUODALA: It definitely means something, and Allen, the way he plays and carries himself as a ballplayer. Actually I had no clue I had a chance of getting an MVP award. I was coming in to make sure we won. And having my teammates look out for me, and I had some open shots and made them. Coach kept me on the court, so I have to thank him. We just had fun out there.

Q. In the second half were you trying to get 3-pointers, trying to mix it up on purpose?

ANDRE IGUODALA: We had a lot of breakaways for dunks. You know, we were just getting out on the break and they couldn't get back. We just spread it out a little bit, got some open threes. I think I've been shooting the ball well this year, so as long as I'm confident, I feel like I can make all of the threes I can get.

Q. Tonight your performance was great - is this the biggest honor you've achieved in the league so far?

ANDRE IGUODALA: So far in the NBA, I have to say that, being that so many great players have gotten this award; Carmelo Anthony last year, Amare Stoudemire, Allen Iverson, a lot of great players have gotten this award. Hopefully that trend can continue and just continue to work hard on my game.

Q. Following up to that, those guys you mentioned have gone on to have great early careers. Think you can follow in their footsteps?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Oh, definitely. I think it's just a confidence booster that when I'm playing out there and I'm playing freely, I'm confident. You know, the sky is the limit for me. As long as I continue to work on my game every night and just focus in on basketball.

Q. A lot of this game was filled with players that have kind of flown under the radar this season. Was this a night for some of you guys to kind of get more of the national spotlight than you've had?

ANDRE IGUODALA: I think so. I think that's what a lot of guys look forward to, for the spotlight to be on them. I actually thought Ben Gordon was going to get the MVP. I was looking forward to him getting it. That's what I thought coming in. Just happened that the game went my way. So guys like myself and you see Nate Robinson, Charlie Villanueva did a great job out there tonight. Dwight Howard is known in this league. Everyone is just looking to be known as one of next players to be great in this league.

The participants in the Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2006 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. Sidney Lowe, Detroit Pistons assistant coach, will serve as the head coach for the Rookies and the Sophomores will be led by Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Del Harris. NBA Legends Elvin Hayes (Rookies) and Moses Malone (Sophomores) will serve as assistant coaches.

In last year’s contest, the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony led the Sophomores to a 133-106 victory, and earned the Most Valuable Player award after scoring 17 of his 31 points in the second half.

Joining Bogut on the Rookie team were Luther Head of the Houston Rockets; Danny Granger and Sarunas Jasikevicius of the Indiana Pacers; Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; Channing Frye and Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks; Charlie Villanueva of the Toronto Raptors; and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz.

rookie challenge game Teaming with Howard on the Sophomore team are Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, who is injured and will not participate; Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni of the Chicago Bulls; Devin Harris of the Dallas Mavericks; T.J. Ford of the Milwaukee Bucks; Nenad Krstic of the New Jersey Nets; Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic and Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers.

If a rookie or second-year player is selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, he will also play in the Rookie Challenge on Friday evening.

This is the seventh year of the rookie-sophomore format with the Sophomores leading the series 4-2. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. There will be one mandatory TV timeout in each half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player can not foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The Clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, will air live on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. EST. The game will also be telecast in 215 countries and broadcast on NBA.com.

The NBA Rookie Challenge rosters:

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER

PlayerTeamPos.Ht.Wt.School/Country
Andrew BogutMilwaukeeF7-0245Utah
Luther HeadHoustonG6-3185Illinois
Channing FryeNew YorkF6-11248Arizona
Danny GrangerIndianaF6-9228New Mexico
Sarunas JasikeviciusIndianaG6-4197Maryland
Chris PaulNOKG6-0175Wake Forest
Nate RobinsonNew YorkG5-9180Washington
Charlie VillanuevaTorontoF6-11240Connecticut
Deron WilliamsUtahG6-3210Illinois

Head Coach – Sidney Lowe, Detroit Pistons
Assistant Coach – Elvin Hayes

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER

PlayerTeamPos.Ht.Wt.School/Country
Luol DengChicagoG/F6-9220Duke
T.J. FordMilwaukeeG6-0165Texas
Ben GordonChicagoG6-3200Connecticut
Devin HarrisDallasG6-3185Wisconsin
Dwight HowardOrlandoC/F6-11265SW Atlanta Christian Academy
Andre IguodalaPhiladelphiaF6-6207Arizona
Nenad KrsticNew JerseyC7-0240Serbia & Montenegro
Jameer NelsonOrlandoG6-0190Saint Joseph’s
Andres NocioniChicagoF6-7225Argentina
*Emeka OkaforCharlotteF/C6-10252Connecticut

Head Coach – Del Harris, Dallas Mavericks
Assistant Coach – Moses Malone

* Will not participate due to injury





_________________________________________________________________________________



2005 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE | JAN. 27, 2005

Carmelo Anthony gave home fans a performance to be happy about.

With 2005 NBA All-Star events being hosted in Denver, Anthony, the star small forward of the Nuggets, has been the unofficial host of the weekend. And although he wasn't voted by fans or coaches to the all-star team, he stepped up tonight and won MVP of the 2005 Rookie Challenge.

"It's a wonderful feeling. You know, this is another positive thing I can put on my resume. It's a great feeling coming out here on my home court and getting MVP of the Rookie-sophomore Game," said Anthony after the game.

The Rookie Challenge game features the NBA's best "sophomores" (players who were rookies last season) against this season's top rookies. (Scroll down to the bottom of this page for exact rosters.)

Anthony finished with 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting to lead his Sophomore team to a 113-106 win. He also had five rebounds and two steals.

Toronto's Chris Bosh was also terrific for the Sophomores, scoring 26 on 9-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and a game-high four steals to go with three assists and no turnovers. Bosh was truly the best player in the game. But some hometown love helped Melo grab MVP honors.

"I enjoyed playing with everybody, no one particular person. Everybody shot the ball. The second half we stepped our defense up and we just went out there and played the right way," said Bosh.

Philadelphia's Kyle Korver, who will be competing in the three-point shootout Saturday night, showed his range and dropped in 21 points, entirely on three-pointers. He shot 7-for-10 from three-point range, and 0-for-1 from inside the arc.

Cleveland's LeBron James, who hasn't been feeling well lately and also is nursing a sore ankle, showed no ill-effects as he put in 20. And Carmelo certainly enjoyed playing on the same team as LeBron: "That boy got eyes on the front and back and both sides of his head," said Anthony. "He got eyes everywhere. He's always playing hard. Only thing I like about him, he looks for his teammates first, then he goes out there. He's not a selfish player. I can play with somebody like that all year long, maybe in the future we can get him out here in Denver."

Dwyane Wade was nice with the ball, dishing a game-high nine assists.

The Sophomores were off in the first half, not playing particularly well as individuals or a team, came alive in the second half and established their dominance.

For the Rookies, Boston's Tony Allen, who started at shooting guard, continues to put his name on the map with 17 points, two steals, and some nice slam finishes.

Chicago's Luol Deng showed his versatility. He finished with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Boston's Al Jefferson came off the bench to provide 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, who in InsideHoops.com's opinion belongs in the Slam Dunk contest, threw down some beauties. He had 11 points, seven rebounds four assists and two steals.

The Sophomore team hit 10 three-pointers (10-of-21), compared to just four (4-of-15) for the Rookies. And the Sophomore team won the rebounding battle, 46-36.



Rookie Challenge Preview

Orlando Magic forward Dwight Howard, the first overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft and Cleveland Cavaliers guard LeBron James, the first overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft and 2003-04 NBA got milk? Rookie of the Year, lead a list of 18 players selected to play in the 2005 got milk? NBA Rookie Challenge on Friday, February 18 in Denver at Pepsi Center.

The participants in the got milk? NBA Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches with each team submitting one ballot. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistant from the 2005 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs.

The got milk? Rookie Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 7 p.m. MT/ 9 p.m. ET. Live audio broadcasts are available on ESPN Radio and on NBA.com in multiple languages.

Last year, the Sophomores defeated the Rookies, 142-118, with Amaré Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns earning the Most Valuable Player award.

Howard will be joined on the Rookie team by Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls, Devin Harris of the Dallas Mavericks, Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers, Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks and Beno Udrih of the San Antonio Spurs. Deng and Udrih are among the record number of 79 active international players in the NBA.

James is joined on the sophomore team by Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat, Kirk Hinrich of the Chicago Bulls, Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks, Kyle Korver of the Philadelphia 76ers, Luke Ridnour of the Seattle SuperSonics and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.

If a rookie or second-year player is selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, he will also play in the got milk? NBA Rookie Challenge on Friday evening.

This is the sixth year under the current rookie versus sophomore format with the Sophomores leading the series, 3-2. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player can not foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner.

Tickets to the got milk? Rookie Challenge are priced at $40, and are now available at Pepsi Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, NBA.com and 1-800-4NBA-TIX.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online, featuring Footlocker Three-Point Shootout, Playstation Skills Challenge, Radio Shack Shooting Stars and Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk will be broadcast live nationally at 8 p.m. EST by TNT and ESPN Radio. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 20 will be broadcast live nationally on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet, ESPN Radio and audio in multiple languages on NBA.com, from the Pepsi Center at 8 p.m. EST.

Below are the rosters for the 2005 got milk? Rookie Challenge:

2005 NBA ROOKIE CHALLENGE GAME
ROOKIE ROSTER
PLAYER TEAM POS. HT. WT. FROM
Tony Allen Boston G 6-4 213 Oklahoma State
Luol Deng Chicago F 6-8 220 Duke
Ben Gordon Chicago G 6-3 200 Connecticut
Devin Harris Dallas G 6-3 185 Wisconsin
Dwight Howard Orlando F 6-11 250 SW Atlanta Christian Academy
Andre Iguodala Philadelphia F 6-6 207 Arizona
Emeka Okafor (*) Charlotte F/C 6-10 252 Connecticut
Josh Smith Atlanta F 6-9 225 Oak Hill Academy
Beno Udrih San Antonio G 6-3 203 Slovenia
SOPHOMORE ROSTER
PLAYER TEAM POS. HT. WT. FROM
Carmelo Anthony Denver F 6-8 230 Syracuse
Chris Bosh Toronto F 6-10 235 Georgia Tech
Udonis Haslem Miami F 6-8 232 Florida
Kirk Hinrich Chicago G 6-3 186 Kansas
Josh Howard Dallas F 6-5 210 Wake Forest
LeBron James Cleveland F 6-8 245 St. Vincent-St. Mary HS
Kyle Korver Philadelphia F 6-6 211 Creighton
Luke Ridnour Seattle G 6-1 167 Oregon
Dwyane Wade Miami G 6-4 212 Marquette
* Feb. 17 Note: Boston's Al Jefferson replaces the injured Emeka Okafor.








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