Eighth Annual NBA D-League All-Star Game Features 16 Players With NBA Experience

NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2014 – Twenty of the NBA Development League’s top prospects, including 16 who have NBA experience, have been selected to play in the eighth annual NBA D-League All-Star Game on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Sprint Arena inside NBA All-Star Jam Session at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The game will air live on NBA TV at 3 p.m. ET.

Chosen to the NBA D-League All-Star Futures team are Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz), Seth Curry (Santa Cruz), Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz), Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls), Manny Harris (Los Angeles), Pierre Jackson (Idaho), Kevin Jones (Canton), DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls), Malcolm Thomas (Los Angeles) and Chris Wright (Maine). The Futures team will be helmed by Canton Charge head coach Steve Hetzel and his staff, who earned the trip to New Orleans by virtue of winning a tie-breaker with Nate Bjorkgren and the staff of the Iowa Energy, which had the same 16-9 record through games of Jan. 26, for the League’s second-best winning percentage.

Selected to play on the NBA D-League All-Star Prospects team are Isaiah Canaan (Rio Grande Valley), Robert Covington (Rio Grande Valley), Troy Daniels (Rio Grande Valley), Ike Diogu (Bakersfield), Devin Ebanks (Texas), Melvin Ely (Texas), Ron Howard (Fort Wayne), Othyus Jeffers (Iowa), Christapher Johnson (Rio Grande Valley), and Jarvis Varnado (Iowa). Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Nevada Smith and his staff will lead the Prospects team in New Orleans. They earned the right to coach the All-Stars having had the highest winning percentage with a 19-6 record in games play through Jan. 26.

“We’re excited to bring 20 top young NBA prospects to New Orleans to compete as NBA D-League All-Stars,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “The NBA D-League All-Star Game is not only an excellent opportunity for the League’s bright young talent to showcase their talents, but gives basketball fans from around the country the chance to watch up-and-coming NBA players in the midst of NBA All-Star festivities.”

The field of 20 players was selected by a vote of the NBA D-League’s 17 head coaches and was divided into two teams by League officials. Players were eligible to be selected based on having played in at least half of their team’s games through Jan. 26. Each player must be on an active NBA D-League roster at the time of the NBA D-League All-Star Game in order to compete.

Eight players with NBA experience are featured on the Prospects roster, including three current NBA players: Canaan and Covington, who have played in Rio Grande Valley on assignment from the Houston Rockets, and Johnson, a member of the Boston Celtics by way of a GATORADE Call-Up. Diogu, Ebanks, Ely, Jeffers, and Varnado round out members of the Prospects team with NBA experience.

An additional eight players with NBA experience make up the Futures roster, including Harris and Thomas, currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, respectively. Armstrong, Curry, Dedmon, Jones, Liggins, and Wright have also logged NBA minutes.

Last season, seven of the 20 NBA D-League All-Stars who played in Houston went on to earn GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA later in the year. Over the NBA D-League All-Star Game’s seven-year history, 87 of the 126 players have had, or subsequently earned, NBA experience.

The 2014 NBA D-League Dream Factory presented by Boost Mobile will be integrated into Saturday’s NBA D-League All-Star Game, with action beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET when the League’s sharp shooters take to the court to participate in the NBA D-League Boost Mobile Thre-Point Contest. Skills competition activities will continue during the game’s halftime break, with the NBA D-League Boost Mobile Slam Dunk Contest.

The complete 2014 NBA D-League All-Star teams are below.

FUTURES ALL-STAR ROSTER
C Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz)
G Seth Curry (Santa Cruz)
C Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz)
G Manny Harris (Los Angeles)*
F Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls)
G Pierre Jackson (Idaho)
F Kevin Jones (Canton)
G DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls)
F Malcolm Thomas (Los Angeles)*
F Chris Wright (Maine)

Head Coach: Steve Hetzel (Canton)
Assistant Coaches: Jordi Fernandez (Canton), James Posey (Canton), Nate Reinking (Canton)
Athletic Trainer: Mike Gittinger (Canton)

PROSPECTS ALL-STAR ROSTER
G Isaiah Canaan (Rio Grande Valley)*
F Robert Covington (Rio Grande Valley)*
G Troy Daniels (Rio Grande Valley)
F Ike Diogu (Bakersfield)
F Devin Ebanks (Texas)
F Melvin Ely (Texas)
G Ron Howard (Fort Wayne)
F Othyus Jeffers (Iowa)
G Christapher Johnson (Rio Grande Valley)*
C Jarvis Varnado (Iowa)

Head Coach: Nevada Smith (Rio Grande Valley)
Assistant Coaches: Paul Mokeski (Rio Grande Valley), Jason Young (Rio Grande Valley)
Athletic Trainer: Long Lam (Rio Grande Valley)

* - Indicates a player currently in the NBA