Jan 23, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) high fives small forward Dorell Wright (1) during player introductions before a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard to Compete in 2014 Rising Stars Challenge

 

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers will participate in the BBVA Rising Star challenge during All-Star Weekend this year. The competition is essentially a mini-All-Star game between the NBA’s best rookies and sophomores. Lillard participated in his rookie season as well, finishing the game with 18 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and two steals. The official release reads as follows:

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 29, 2014) – Portland Trail Blazers second-year guard Damian Lillard was named as a participant in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge game at NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans by a vote of NBA assistant coaches, it was announced today by the league.

 

The game will tip-off on Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. (Pacific), and will be broadcast live from New Orleans Arena on TNT.

 

Last season’s unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year and the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State, Lillard, 23, is averaging 20.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists to go with a 41.3% (136-for-329) mark from 3-point range.

 

He leads all sophomores in scoring and assists, while ranking third in the NBA in 3-pointers made and 14th in scoring. Upon registering his 200th assist earlier this month, Lillard became the third NBA player to register 700 points, 200 assists and 100 rebounds this season.

 

For the third year in a row, the Rising Stars Challenge will feature two teams drafted by TNT personalities. Each team will have rosters, consisting of both NBA rookies and sophomores, drafted from a pool that was previously selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches. The player draft will take place on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m., live on TNT. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online for who should be in the starting lineup for each team.

 

Lillard tallied 18 points (7-17 FG), three rebounds and five assists for “Team Shaq” in last year’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge game at All-Star Weekend in Houston.

 

Lillard’s appearance in the game is the 11th by a Trail Blazer, joining sophomores Brandon Roy (2008), LaMarcus Aldridge (2008) and Wesley Matthews (2011). Arvydas Sabonis (1996), Kelvin Cato (1998), Alvin Williams (1998), Roy (2007), Greg Oden (2009), Rudy Fernandez (2009) and Lillard (2013) were voted into the game as rookies.

 

Damian Lillard is in consideration for the All-Star game, itself, as a reserve guard in the West. Reserves will be announced tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. PST on TNT.

 

**UPDATE**

Rookie participants:

  • Steven Adams (OKC)
  • Pero Antic (ATL)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
  • Trey Burke (UTA)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (PHI)
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (NYK)
  • Victor Oladipo (ORL)
  • Kelly Olynyk (BOS)
  • Mason Plumlee (BKN)

 

Sophomore participants:

  • Harrison Barnes (GSW)
  • Bradley Beal (WAS)
  • Anthony Davis (NOP)
  • Andre Drummond (DET)
  • Terrence Jones (HOU)
  • Damian Lillard (POR)
  • Jared Sullinger (BOS)
  • Jonas Valanciunas (TOR)
  • Dion Waiters (CLE)

 

 

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Tags: Damian Lillard NBA All-star Portland Trail Blazers Rising Stars Challenge

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