Hawks’ Schroder named to Rising Stars Challenge roster
ATLANTA — The Hawks’ All-Star Weekend contingent grew by one Wednesday, but when news came, Dennis Schroder was fast asleep.
The point guard was named to the Rising Stars Challenge Roster on Wednesday, but he let slip that he was getting in a pregame nap.
"I just woke up before I came to the arena and everybody like texted my phone and called me and I was like ‘Something happened,’" he said.
Schroder, who is a native of Braunschweig, Germany, will be part of 10-man World Team of first and second-year players, which will take on 10 players form the United States on Feb. 13 in New York. The World’s roster will be coached by Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson.
"It’s great for Dennis," said Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. "He’s worked so hard, really the whole time here’s been here. He’s growing and improving in so many ways on and off the court."
The Hawks are expected to add to their All-Star attendees when the reserves are announced Thursday night. They already have the Eastern Conference’s coach in Budeholzer, while Kyle Korver will participate in the Three-Point Shootout.
This has been a breakout year for Schroder, who is averaging 8.1 points, 3.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 17.7 minutes. That comes after a rookie season in which he struggled to find any rhythm, scoring just 3.7 a game in 13.1 minutes and averaged 1.9 assists to 1.2 turnovers.
"My first year was tough but I worked hard, played Summer League, national team and all that," Schroder said. "I’m excited that I get to play over there and that I get the opportunity to play. It’s a lot for me."
Joining Schroder on the World Team are the Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins and Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk (both are Canadian), the Jazz’s Dante Exum (Australia) and Rudy Gobert (France), Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic (Montenegro), Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Thunder’s Steven Adams (New Zealand), Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia) and Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng (Senegal).
"I know Andrew Wiggins is going to play over there; Dante Exum, I played with him in the Hoops Summit. To play with them again, I think it’s going to be great," Schroder said. "Kelly Olynyk, Steven Adams, I think they’re great guys. I met them in the draft workouts when I came into the league. It’s going to be great to see them again."
Making up the U.S. team are Trey Burke (Jazz), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Pistons), Michael Carter-Williams (76ers), Zach LaVine (Timberwolves), Shabazz Muhammad (Timberwolves), Nerlens Noel (76ers), Victor Oladipo (Magic), Elfrid Payton (Magic), Mason Plumlee (Nets) and Cody Zeller (Hornets).