NEW YORK – Thirteen of the NBA G League’s top performers were selected to form NBA G League USA and compete against the Mexico National Team in the 2018 NBA G League International Challenge presented by Kumho Tire. The first international exhibition game to be played during NBA All-Star festivities tips off at the Verizon Up Arena at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live to fans globally on NBA.com, the NBA App and Twitch and in the United States on the ESPN App. The game will also be televised in Spanish language on Univision Deportes Network in the United States and Puerto Rico and Televisa Deportes Network in Mexico.
The Santa Cruz Warriors’ Terrence Jones, a first-round selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, headlines the NBA G League USA roster, which includes players from 11 NBA G League teams. Jones is one of seven NBA G League USA players with NBA experience, including Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Alonzo Gee (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Aaron Harrison (Reno Bighorns), Xavier Silas (Northern Arizona Suns), David Stockton (Reno Bighorns) and Travis Wear (South Bay Lakers). The roster is rounded out by Taylor Braun (Salt Lake City Stars), Trey McKinney Jones (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Rodney Purvis (Lakeland Magic), Rashawn Thomas (Oklahoma City Blue), Marcus Thornton (Canton Charge) and Devin Williams (Maine Red Claws).
Coached by former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy and his USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying team assistant coaches Mo McHone and John Thompson III, NBA G League USA players were selected by the six-member USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Committee. The Committee is made up of appointees by USA Basketball and the NBA G League. Members of NBA G League USA will go on to play for USA Basketball in FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers against Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Also on Sunday, Feb. 18, five dynamic leapers will take flight in the 2018 NBA G League Slam Dunk Contest presented by Verizon. The preliminary round will be held at 3:30 p.m. ET before tip-off of the NBA G League International Challenge. The championship round of the two-round event will take place at halftime.
The competition will feature Aaron Best (Raptors 905), Michael Bryson (Iowa Wolves), Ike Iroegbu (Aqua Caliente Clippers of Ontario), DeQuan Jones (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) and Ike Nwamu (Sioux Falls Skyforce). Nwamu, a 2016 NCAA College Slam Dunk Contest finalist, is averaging 14.9 points and 3.2 rebounds this season.
The contest calls for each competitor to complete two dunks in the preliminary round, with each of the five judges awarding six to 10 points for each dunk. Dunkers will have 60 seconds to complete each dunk. The two players with the highest composite scores after the preliminary round move on to the final round, where the time limits and scoring system remain the same. The player with the highest composite score of the possible two dunks in the final round is crowned the 2018 NBA G League Slam Dunk champion.
Tickets for the NBA G League International Challenge presented by Kumho Tire can be purchased at NBATickets.com and start at just $10.
The full roster of participants is below.
NBA G League USA Roster
|Taylor Braun (Salt Lake City)||F||6-7||210||North Dakota State||7/6/1991|
|Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls)||G||6-2||180||UCLA||3/5/1990|
|Alonzo Gee (Sioux Falls)||G||6-6||220||Alabama||5/29/1987|
|Aaron Harrison (Reno)||G||6-6||209||Kentucky||10/28/1994|
|Terrence Jones (Santa Cruz)||F||6-9||255||Kentucky||1/9/1992|
|Trey McKinney Jones (Fort Wayne)||G||6-5||220||Miami||8/27/1990|
|Rodney Purvis (Lakeland)||G||6-4||205||Connecticut||2/14/1994|
|Xavier Silas (Northern Arizona)||G||6-5||198||Northern Illinois||1/22/1988|
|David Stockton (Reno)||G||5-11||165||Gonzaga||6/24/1991|
|Rashawn Thomas (Oklahoma City)||F||6-8||230||Texas A&M – Corp. Christi||8/15/1994|
|Marcus Thornton (Canton)||G||6-4||190||William & Mary||2/9/1993|
|Travis Wear (South Bay)||F||6-9||229||UCLA||9/21/1990|
|Devin Williams (Maine)||F||6-9||255||West Virginia||5/31/1994|
NBA G League Slam Dunk presented by Verizon
|Aaron Best (Raptors 905)||G||6-4||187||Ryerson (Canada)||1/9/1992|
|Michael Bryson (Iowa)||G||6-4||200||UC Santa Barbara||9/30/1994|
|Ike Iroegbu (Aqua Caliente)||G||6-2||195||Washington State||3/14/1995|
|DeQuan Jones (Fort Wayne)||F||6-8||221||Miami||6/20/1990|
|Ike Nwamu (Sioux Falls)||G||6-5||205||UNLV||6/3/1993|
About the NBA G League
The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2017-18 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time-high 44 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2016-17 season boasted NBA G League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Cares programs. NBA G League games are available on ESPN’s family of networks, Twitch, Eleven Sports and NBA TV.