Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Via NBA press release:
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins, who has won two straight Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, last season’s Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, highlight the list of 20 players selected to play in the new-look BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2015.
The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent will debut a format that pits 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world. The game, set for Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be televised live by TNT at 9 p.m. ET, part of Turner Sports’ 30th year of All-Star coverage. BBVA Compass is the official bank of the NBA in the U.S. and maintains its role as title partner for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.
This year’s edition showcases 10 of the top 15 picks from the 2013 NBA Draft presented by State Farm, and all four participants in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk, which will be held during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center.
The World Team is anchored by Wiggins, who leads all rookies in scoring (15.2 ppg). Wiggins is one of two Canadians on the roster, along with the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, who is part of a frontcourt that includes the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, the third-leading shot-blocker in the NBA (2.18 bpg), and the Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic, the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December. The other World Team players are Sprite Slam Dunk entrant Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn Nets, Gorgui Dieng of the Timberwolves, Dante Exum of the Jazz and Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks.
Carter-Williams, one of two NBA players averaging at least 15.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds, is joined on the U.S. Team by Sprite Slam Dunk competitors Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves, Victor Oladipo of the Magic and Mason Plumlee of the Nets. The rookie leader in assists (the Magic’s Elfrid Payton) and the rookie leader in rebounds, blocked shots and steals (the 76ers’ Nerlens Noel) were also selected for the U.S. Team, which is rounded out by Trey Burke of the Jazz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Detroit Pistons, Shabazz Muhammad of the Timberwolves and Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets.
Both BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge rosters, chosen by the NBA’s assistant coaches, had to include four guards, four frontcourt players and two players at any position. The coaches also picked a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players for each team.
The head coaches for the 21st BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be assistants from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson will guide the World Team, and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry will lead the U.S. Team.