Before the 3-Point Contest, Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game itself, there’s the Rising Stars Challenge, perhaps one of the more overlooked events during NBA All-Star Weekend. What used to be strictly a rookie vs. sophomores game has evolved into pitting players in their first two years in the league in a U.S.A. versus World format. The change is the NBA’s recognition of the growing amount of international talent throughout the league, and that’s especially true over the last few years. The World team is headlined by Luka Doncic who is averaging near a triple-double for the Dallas Mavericks, and the U.S.A. team will be bringing in the No. 1 and No. 2 pick in the 2019 Draft in Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.
Each team has 10 players: four backcourt players, four frontcourt players, and two wild cards. Due to several injuries, Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is replacing Heat rookie Tyler Herro on the U.S. roster, and Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli will step in for injured Suns center DeAndre Ayton on the World team. Here are the rosters for the two teams:
U.S: Miles Bridges (Charlotte); Devonte’ Graham (Charlotte); Collin Sexton (Cleveland); Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis); Ja Morant (Memphis); Kendrick Nunn (Miami); Eric Paschall (Golden State); P.J. Washington (Charlotte); Zion Williamson (New Orleans); Trae Young (Atlanta)
World: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans); R.J. Barrett (New York); Brandon Clarke (Memphis); Luka Doncic (Dallas); Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City); Rui Hachimura (Washington); Svi Mykhailiuk (Detroit); Josh Okogie (Minnesota); Moritz Wagner (Washington); Nicolo Melli (New Orleans)
Catch all the action from the Rising Stars Game in our live blog below.