Your Skills Challenge field: Jrue Holiday, Brandon Knight, Jeff Teague, Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin, Tony Parker.
— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 8, 2013
Chris Haynes had it first, announcing that Damian Lillard would be competing in the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. The NBA has made it official Thursday, releasing the names of the competitors in the Skills Challenge, the Dunk Contest, and the Three-Point Shoot-Out.
I would have liked to see Lillard in the Three-Point Shoot-Out, but I think winning the Skills Challenge will probably be good enough.
Here’s the official release from the Blazers:
DAMIAN LILLARD TO PARTICIPATE IN TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE DURING ALL-STAR WEEKEND
Trail Blazers rookie will test fundamentals against NBA’s top guards
PORTLAND, Ore. (February 7, 2013) – Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard has been selected to participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, it was announced today by the league.
The event challenges the NBA’s top guards to work against the clock in a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills. Lillard becomes the first Trail Blazers player selected to participate in the event, which was introduced in 2003.
The three-time Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month ranks 18th in the NBA in scoring (18.4), 14th in assists (6.5), seventh in 3-pointers made (111) and his 24 games of 20-plus points rank tied for 12th in the NBA. A product of Weber State, the 6-3 point guard was drafted No. 6 overall by the Trail Blazers in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Lillard, who was also selected to participate in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday evening during All-Star Weekend, is the sixth rookie selected to participate in the Skills Challenge, joining Chris Paul (2005-06), Derrick Rose (2008-09), Brandon Jennings (2009-10), John Wall (2010-11) and Kyrie Irving (2011-12).
All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format this season, pitting the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in an exciting night of competition that will raise money for charity. Joining Lillard from the Western Conference are Houston’s Jeremy Lin and San Antonio’s Tony Parker. The Eastern Conference competitors are Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday, Detroit’s Brandon Knight and Atlanta’s Jeff Teague.
The Skills Challenge will tip-off All-Star Saturday Night at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday, Feb. 16.