D-League All-Star Game Preview
by Matthew Brennan
Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images
Fort Worth's Pops Mensah-Bonsu will play for the Eastern Division Team.
When the D-League's best players take the floor on Saturday at Jam Session Center Court, they will make history as participants in the first ever Gillette D-League All-Star Game in Association with 24-Hour Fitness. Since this is the first edition of the game, we won't bother to reminisce on past editions or recap who was named MVP when. Instead let's cover some things that you should know before you watch the game on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Players With Something to Prove

The D-League All-Star Game is unique from your standard All-Star games, as plenty will be on the line for the players even though the game doesn't count in the standings. A total of 37 scouts from 21 teams are currently scheduled to attend to check out the talent on display. With the multitude of team scouts in attendance, you can be sure that all of these players will be looking to impress and earn a GATORADE Call-Up to the NBA, making this a highly entertaining game to watch. If you are not in Las Vegas, you can check out the game live on NBA TV and NBA.com at 5 p.m. ET or listen to the game live on the NBA Channel of Sirius Satellite Radio and NBA.com. If you are in Las Vegas, you can attend the game on Saturday afternoon at the Jam Session Center Court at the Mandalay Bay, starting at 2 p.m. local time.

Eastern Division The Eastern Division All-Stars will be led by one of the D-League's best playmakers, Will Conroy of the Tulsa 66ers. Conroy, fresh off of a ten-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, has returned to Tulsa and will be able to play in the All-Star Game. Conroy, who leads the D-League with 10.9 assists, is more than just a great passer. He can score and rebound as well, demonstrated by his league-high 14 double-doubles and three triple-doubles this season. After Conroy did not have the greatest of performances at the D-League Showcase, the All-Star Game will give him a chance to redeem himself in front of another big audience.

Conroy should have plenty of assists if he teams up in the backcourt with one of the league's top scorers, Austin's BJ Elder. Elder is ranked second in the D-League with 19.8 points and can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. The East roster also contains one of the league's most explosive athletes in Dallas Mavericks assignee Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Mensah-Bonsu is a vicious dunker and shot-blocker and one of the most exciting players in the D-League to watch.

The East All-Stars will also have the services of several other players who have played in the NBA this season or in previous years. Dakota's Renaldo Major a GATORADE Call-Up by Golden State, Tulsa's Alan Anderson who opened the season with the Bobcats, and Sioux Falls' Stephen Graham a former member of the Trail Blazers, as well as previous NBA veterans Loren Woods and Luke Schenscher will all be looking to make a return to the NBA off of a solid performance here in Las Vegas.

NBA legend and Fort Worth head coach Sidney Moncrief will coach the Eastern Division All-Stars.

Western Division

The league's current leading scorer as well as one of it's most exciting athletes, Colorado's Von Wafer will lead the Western Division All-Stars. Considered one of the favorites to be the next player to earn a GATORADE Call-Up, the 6-5 Wafer should be good for at least a few highlight-reel dunks during the game. Wafer, who is averaging 20.8 points for the 14ers, should definitely be hungry to make a return to the NBA after spending last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

One of the players who will be feeding Wafer the ball is the D-League's veteran, point guard Randy Livingston of the Idaho Stampede. Livingston, who has a wealth of both NBA and overseas basketball experience, is averaging 9.8 assists for the Stampede, currently the league's best team with a 21-10 record. Besides Livingston, other players on the West team who have NBA experience include Brian Chase of Los Angeles, who opened the season with the Utah Jazz, former Washington Wizard Peter John Ramos of Idaho, and Albuquerque's Dijon Thompson, who earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Hawks a few weeks ago.

The Western Division team is also notable for the large contingent that is coming from the Colorado 14ers. Besides Wafer, three other players as well as the Colorado coaching staff, led by former NBA veteran Joe Wolf, will be heading to Vegas in between games at Anaheim on Friday and Sunday.