|Morris Almond was named to the NBA D-League All-Star team for the second time.|
Otto Kitsinger/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2010 – Twelve players with NBA experience highlight the rosters for the fourth annual NBA D-League All-Star Game, which will be played on Saturday, Feb. 13 at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. CT on Jam Session's Center Court and will be shown live on NBA TV.
Twenty of the NBA D-League's top prospects were selected to be All-Stars by a combination of fan balloting on nba.com/dleague and voting by the league’s 16 head coaches. The two 10-man teams will be divided by conference with the West team playing host to the East team in Dallas. Players who have been selected by coaches and fans must be on an active roster to compete in the NBA D-League All-Star game.
The East Team will be coached by Iowa head coach Nick Nurse and his assistant Nate Bjorkgren, who make a second appearance as NBA D-League All-Star coaches following a trip to Phoenix for 2009 NBA D-League All-Star festivities. The West team will be coached by Rio Grande Valley head coach Chris Finch and his assistant Paul Mokeski. Both coaching staffs were selected based on their teams having the highest winning percentage by Jan. 26. Prior to the game Finch and Nurse will choose starting lineups for their respective teams.
“The NBA D-League All-Star game is not only a fantastic opportunity for the fans in Dallas to see an exceptionally talented group of NBA prospects compete in person," said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League. “It is also a great chance for our players to showcase their skills for NBA team personnel who will gather for the All-Star festivities."
A pair of Austin Toros, Alonzo Gee and Dwayne Jones, and a trio of Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Antonio Anderson, Joey Dorsey, and Mike Harris will make Texas fans proud when they travel to Dallas to headline the West team. Jones, a veteran from St. Joseph’s (PA), has played in 80 NBA games, and leads the NBA D-League with 15.3 rebounds per game and field goal percentage (62 percent), while Gee, a rookie out of Alabama, is sixth in the league in scoring (21.0 ppg). Rice product Harris, who earned the season’s second GATORADE Call-Up on Dec. 23, 2009 when he signed with the Houston Rockets, has ranked among the league’s leaders since returning to the Vipers in early January. He is second in the league with 26.5 points per game, and fourth in the league in rebounds (9.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (59 percent). Anderson, a guard out of Memphis, ranks second on the Vipers with 15.7 points per game, was named NBA D-League Player of the Month for December, 2009, when he averaged 18.1 points, 7.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 10 games for the Vipers. Fellow Memphis product Dorsey, currently playing with the Rockets, was assigned from Houston to the Vipers Nov. 13, 2009 before being recalled on Jan. 13, averaged 14.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in 16 games with Rio Grande Valley.
Three additional GATORADE Call-Ups, and two current NBA players, Sundiata Gaines (Idaho/Utah Jazz), Dontell Jefferson (Utah Flash), and Anthony Tolliver (Idaho/Golden State Warriors), round out the West team’s roster. Jefferson, a former Arkansas Razorback who was called-up to the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2008-09 season, currently leads Utah with 18.0 points and 5.7 assists per game. A Georgia product, Gaines, who was called-up to the Utah Jazz from Idaho on Jan. 5, signed for the remainder of the season on Jan. 25. Tolliver, his teammate in Idaho and a Creighton graduate, returned to the NBA on Jan. 17, when he signed with the Golden State Warriors. He was also called-up to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the season.
Four of the NBA D-League’s leaders, Alexis Ajinca (Maine), Morris Almond (Springfield), Rob Kurz (Fort Wayne) and Curtis Stinson (Iowa), highlight the visiting East team. France’s Ajinca, on assignment from Charlotte to Maine is currently second in the league with 3.1 blocks per game. Almond, a guard out of Rice, returns to NBA D-League All-Star festivities, having been selected as an NBA D-League All-Star in New Orleans in 2008 while on assignment from the Jazz to the Flash, is second in the league with 27.0 points per game. Kurz, who played 40 games for the Warriors during the 2008-09 season and is a graduate of Notre Dame, is second in the NBA D-League with 10.9 rebounds per game for Fort Wayne. Stinson, an Iowa State product, leads the league with 9.9 assists per game for league-leading Iowa.
Eight additional NBA D-League standouts will compete in the 2010 NBA D-League All-Star game, including West team members Mustafa Shakur (Tulsa), who leads his team with 19.6 points per game and ranks fifth in the league in both assists and steals following his career at Arizona and South Carolina product Carlos Powell (Albuquerque), who will play in his second NBA D-League All-Star game, having participated in New Orleans in 2008. The East team will also include first-time NBA D-League All-Stars Alade Aminu (Erie), Earl Barron (Iowa), Trey Gilder (Maine), Ron Howard (Fort Wayne) and Reggie Williams (Sioux Falls). Cartier Martin (Iowa) also makes his first NBA D-League All-Star appearance. He was selected as an NBA D-League All-Star last season, but earned a GATORADE Call-Up to Charlotte and did not participate in the game.
# - currently in the NBA
* - injured