Derrick Favors Named to 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY (February 21, 2012) – The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors has been added to the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge that will take place on Friday, February 24 in Orlando, during NBA All-Star 2012. Favors will join teammate Gordon Hayward, who was previously selected to the game, on TEAM CHUCK. The two will be Utah’s first participants in the event since Ronnie Brewer and Paul Millsap played for the sophomore team during the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

A 2010 first-round draft pick (third overall) out of Georgia Tech, the 6-10, 246-pound forward was acquired by Utah from New Jersey on February 23, 2011. The second-year forward is currently averaging 8.1 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game this season. On December 30, Favors notched a new career-high scoring 20 points while pulling down 11 rebounds vs. Philadelphia. The forward has scored in double figures nine times this season, grabbed 10+ rebounds four times, and registered a double-double on three occasions.

Favors and Hayward will be the sixth and seventh players in Jazz history to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the Rookie Challenge), joining Bryon Russell (1994), Andrei Kirilenko (2002, 2003), Deron Williams (2006, 2007), Paul Millsap (2007, 2008) and Ronnie Brewer (2008).

This year, a new format is being implemented to a game that has historically featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. For the first time, rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal are serving as the general managers of the two opposing teams - TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ – having held a draft on Feb. 16.

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 will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2012 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs, Ron Adams (Chicago) and Maurice Cheeks (Oklahoma City).

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. MT and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages. NBA games are broadcast to 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

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.