ORLANDO, FLA — Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic was named to the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, an All-Star event featuring rookies and second-year players selected by NBA assistant coaches. The game will be played during the NBA All-Star break in Houston on Friday, Feb. 15.
Vucevic ranks fifth overall and leads all second-year players in rebounding at 11.2 rpg. He is in the top 10 of second-year players in field goal percentage, shooting .522 and in scoring at 11.9. He is the only sophomore player in the NBA averaging a double-double.
From the sophomore class, Vucevic will be joined by Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), 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), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).
Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard will lead a group of rookies made up of Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cavaliers) and Tyler Zeller (Cavaliers).
Team rosters, which be drafted on Feb. 7, will feature a mix of both rookies and sophomores as chosen by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, who will serve as “general managers.”
After the teams are chosen, fans will be able to vote on the starting lineups. Those will be announced on game night.
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 are not eligible to coach this year’s game after coaching in last year’s game.