For Immediate Release
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS’ BLAKE GRIFFIN, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ KYRIE IRVING ARE FIRST TWO PICKS IN 2012 BBVA RISING STARS CHALLENGE DRAFT
2/17/12

-GMs Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal draft teams for Feb. 24 Challenge -

- TNT Analyst and Honorary Commissioner Kenny Smith Add Cole, Lin -


NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2012 – TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, serving as general managers for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, made their player selections Thursday night on NBA TV.

With the first pick of the first-ever draft for the event, TEAM SHAQ selected Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers while TEAM CHUCK countered by tapping Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the second overall selection. Each former All-Star then filled their rosters through the draft process.

In a Draft night surprise, TNT’s Kenny Smith, the Honorary Commissioner of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, added Norris Cole of the Miami Heat and Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks to the player pool.

The 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be played Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012. While Barkley and O’Neal functioned as the general managers for the draft, Smith served as the honorary commissioner and Ernie Johnson performed the hosting role.

Joining Griffin, Lin and Cole on TEAM SHAQ are Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons).

Besides Irving, TEAM CHUCK is comprised of DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), John Wall (Washington Wizards), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs).

This marks the first year in which rookies and sophomores have been mixed together on teams. Historically, the game featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. The participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

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 are the lead assistant coaches from the 2012 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Chicago Bulls’ Ron Adams will lead TEAM SHAQ and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Maurice Cheeks will man the sidelines for TEAM CHUCK.

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.

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.

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 are the rosters for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge:

TEAM CHUCK

PLAYER
TEAM
POS
HT
WT
PRIOR TO NBA/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
Paul George
Indiana
G-F
6-8
215
Fresno State/USA
1
Gordon Hayward
Utah
F
6-8
210
Butler/USA
1
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland
G
6-3
191
Duke/USA
R
Kawhi Leonard
San Antonio
G-F
6-7
225
San Diego State/USA
R
Tiago Splitter
San Antonio
F-C
6-11
240
Saski Baskonia/Brazil
1
Evan Turner
Philadelphia
G-F
6-7
205
Ohio State/USA
1
John Wall
Washington
G
6-4
195
Kentucky/USA
1
Derrick Williams
Minnesota
F
6-8
241
Arizona/USA
R

TEAM SHAQ

PLAYER
TEAM
POS
HT
WT
PRIOR TO NBA/HOME COUNTRY
EXP
Norris Cole
Miami
G
6-2
175
Cleveland/USA
R
Landry Fields
New York
G
6-7
210
Stanford/USA
1
Blake Griffin
L.A. Clippers
F
6-10
251
Oklahoma/USA
1
Brandon Knight
Detroit
G
6-3
189
Kentucky/USA
R
Jeremy Lin
New York
G
6-3
200
Harvard/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
Tristan Thompson
Cleveland
F
6-9
227
Texas/USA
R
Kemba Walker
Charlotte
G
6-1
172
Connecticut/USA
R


PREVIOUS BBVA RISING STARS CHALLENGE RESULTS
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