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Derrick Rose headlines 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge

Bulls forward Taj Gibson will play in the game on the Rookie team

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose competed in last year’s Rookie Challenge and will again this season—that is, unless he is named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team when that announcement is made on TNT this Thursday night.
(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2010 – Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the reigning T-Mobile Rookie of the Year, and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, the leading scorer among first-year players, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam to be held on Friday, Feb. 12 in Dallas during NBA All-Star 2010.

The participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

Joining Rose on the Sophomore team are Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez, New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and a pair of teammates from the Memphis Grizzlies – center Marc Gasol and guard O.J. Mayo.

Forward Omri Casspi, Evans’ teammate in Sacramento, joins him on the Rookie team, which also includes Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, and San Antonio forward/center DeJuan Blair.

The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2010 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs, which will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31.

The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam 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.

At halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, the Clippers’ Gordon and the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan will compete in the first NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, a single-round slam dunk competition. Fans will be able to vote via SMS text message and at NBA.com to determine who will advance to the Sprite Slam Dunk the following night.

The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam began its current format pitting the Rookies against the Sophomores in 2000 and the Sophomores hold an 8-2 advantage over the first-year players. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player cannot foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner. The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each half.

As title partner of the Rookie Challenge and overall NBA Rookie Program, T-Mobile has teamed up with the NBA and NBA Cares to create the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Dallas students to experience NBA All-Star 2010. By successfully completing academic, reading, school attendance, and community service requirements, nearly 4,000 students ages 11-15, from schools within the Dallas and Arlington Independent School Districts will watch the game from the best seats in the house at American Airlines Center.

T-Mobile will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count toward selecting the MVP of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam by voting on NBA.com or via SMS on mobile phones during the second half of the game.

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 Shootout, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas.

Building upon its already strong appeal to the nation’s youth and as Official Partner of the NBA, T-Mobile is showcasing the NBA’s youngest players -- the Rookies -- through the T-Mobile Rookie Program. Highlights include the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, an All-Star competition between NBA rookies and second-year players, and rookie awards presentations including the T-Mobile Rookie of the Month and T-Mobile Rookie of the Year. To learn more about T-Mobile’s partnership with the NBA, visit www.t-mobile.com/nba.