Posted Feb 6, 2014 8:10 PM - Updated Feb 7, 2014 8:25 AM
NEW YORK -- Reigning champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, both All-Stars for the first time this year, headline the list of participants for the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge (#TacoBellSkills), taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday), at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, also is participating in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk, becoming the first player to appear in three events during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. He also is participating in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will be exclusively televised on TNT. The event also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.
The Taco Bell® Skills Challenge is introducing a new format that features four teams of two players each competing in a two-round timed relay-style course consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations.
Representing the Eastern Conference are DeRozan and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on one team, and Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic on the other. Antetokounmpo, Carter-Williams and Oladipo are also participating in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.
Joining Lillard on one Western Conference team is Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, while Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns comprise the other.
As part of this year's 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, four lucky teens will paired with the NBA participants. Through the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, a total of $120,000 will be donated in support of educational scholarships and to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with the teen paired with the winning team receiving a $30,000 educational scholarship.
For the second consecutive year, the Eastern and Western conferences will compete during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night in an evening of challenges that will raise money for charity. NBA Cares and State Farm will make a joint donation of $500,000 as part of the event, with $100,000 awarded to each event's winning conference's charities and $25,000 going to the charities of the runner-up for each event. The Eastern Conference will be playing for the American Heart Association and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF while the Western Conference will compete for Teach for America and Wounded Warrior Project®. All-Stars Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and George, winner of the 2012-13 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, will serve as captains of the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. The charities were selected by George and Curry, the NBA, and State Farm.
All teams must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. The fastest team from each Conference during the First Round will advance to the Championship Round. The fastest team in the Championship Round will win the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. Complete rules for the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night can be found on [mediacentral.nba.com]mediacentral.nba.com.
EASTERN CONFERENCE 2014 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
> Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
> DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
> Michael Carter-Williams, Phila. 76ers
> Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
WESTERN CONFERENCE 2014 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS
> Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
> Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
> Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
> Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder
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