2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Roster pool announced

NEW YORK – Reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio, who ranks third overall in assists, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012.

Joining Griffin from the Sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Irving and Rubio are joined by fellow first-year players MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

The participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

This year, a new format is being implemented to a game that has historically featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. For the first time, rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as the general managers of the two opposing teams – TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ – each with nine man rosters, drafted from the aforementioned pool. TNT’s Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary Commissioner and Ernie Johnson will host the live BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET.

Last year in Los Angeles, the Rookies won for the second consecutive year, 148-140. Wall earned MVP honors after recording a record 22 assists, five more than Chris Paul managed in 2007.

TNT Analysts Mike Fratello and Steve Kerr will be part of the coaching staffs for the teams, with Fratello joining TEAM CHUCK and Kerr joining TEAM SHAQ. The Head Coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2012 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 15.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages. NBA games are broadcast to 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Tickets to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge are available for $35 for the upper bowl and $50 for the lower bowl, and fans can visit NBA.com/allstar2012 to purchase them.

NBA All-Star brings together the top NBA players and performers for a week of competition, community service and world-class entertainment. Among the many other exciting All-Star events are Sprite Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session.

Below is the roster for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge:

2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Player Pool

Player                              Team          Pos.   Ht.    Wt.   Home Country                 Exp
MarShon Brooks        New Jersey       G-F   6-5    200    Providence/USA              R

DeMarcus Cousins     Sacramento      C       6-11  270    Kentucky/USA                1

Landry Fields             New York         G      6-7    210    Stanford/USA                  1

Paul George               Indiana             G-F   6-8    215    Fresno State/USA            1

Blake Griffin             L.A. Clippers    F       6-10  251    Oklahoma/USA               1

Gordon Hayward        Utah                 F       6-8    210    Butler/USA                     1

Kyrie Irving               Cleveland         G      6-3    191    Duke/USA                       R

Brandon Knight         Detroit             G      6-3    189    Kentucky/USA                R

Kawhi Leonard          San Antonio     G-F   6-7    225    San Diego State/USA       R

Greg Monroe             Detroit             C       6-11  250    Georgetown/USA             1

Markieff Morris         Phoenix            F       6-10  245    Kansas/USA                    R

Ricky Rubio              Minnesota        G      6-4    180    FC Barcelona/Spain         R

Tiago Splitter             San Antonio     F-C   6-11  240    Saski Baskonia/Brazil       1

Tristan Thompson     Cleveland         F       6-9    227    Texas/USA                      R

Evan Turner              Philadelphia      G-F   6-7    205    Ohio State/USA               1

John Wall                  Washington      G      6-4    195    Kentucky/USA                1

Kemba Walker           Charlotte          G      6-1    172    Connecticut/USA            R

Derrick Williams        Minnesota        F       6-8    241    Arizona State/USA          R



1994 – Phenoms 74, Sensations 68

1995 – White 83, Green 79 (OT)

1996 – East 94, West 92

1997 – East 96, West 91

1998 – East 85, West 80

2000 – Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)

2001 – Sophomores 121, Rookies 113

2002 – Rookies 103, Sophomores 97

2003 – Sophomores 132, Rookies 112

2004 – Sophomores 142, Rookies 118

2005 – Sophomores 133, Rookies 106

2006 – Sophomores 106, Rookies 96

2007 – Sophomores 155, Rookies 114

2008 – Sophomores 136, Rookies 109

2009 – Sophomores 122, Rookies 116

2010 – Rookies 140, Sophomores 128

2011 – Rookies 148, Sophomores 140