Howard, Nelson Selected for 2006 Rookie Challenge

February 1, 2005

NEW YORK – The NBA Announced today that Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson will represent the Orlando Magic in the 2006 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Andrew Bogut, the first overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft, and Howard, the first player chosen in the 2004 NBA Draft, lead a list of 19 players selected to play in the 2006 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

The participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. The head coaches for the Rookie and Sophomore teams will be the lead assistants from the 2006 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. Sidney Lowe, Detroit Pistons assistant coach, will serve as the head coach for the Rookies and the Sophomores will be led by Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Del Harris. NBA Legends Elvin Hayes (Rookies) and Moses Malone (Sophomores) will serve as assistant coaches.

The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 9 p.m. ET. The game will also be broadcast live on ESPN Radio while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

In last year’s contest, the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony led the Sophomores to a 133-106 victory, and earned the Most Valuable Player award after scoring 17 of his 31 points in the second half.

Joining Bogut on the Rookie team are Luther Head of the Houston Rockets; Danny Granger and Sarunas Jasikevicius of the Indiana Pacers; Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; Channing Frye and Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks; Charlie Villanueva of the Toronto Raptors; and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz.

Teaming with Howard on the Sophomore team are Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, who is injured and will not participate; Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni of the Chicago Bulls; Devin Harris of the Dallas Mavericks; T.J. Ford of the Milwaukee Bucks; Nenad Krstic of the New Jersey Nets; Nelson and Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers.

If a rookie or second-year player is selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, he will also play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge on Friday evening.

This is the seventh year of the rookie-sophomore format with the Sophomores leading the series 4-2. The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. There will be one mandatory TV timeout in each half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player can not 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.

For the second consecutive year, NBA.com will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count towards selecting the MVP of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, as part of the site's exclusive NBA All-Star 2006 coverage.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, will air live on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. EST. The game will also be telecast in 215 countries and broadcast on NBA.com.

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 events that reach more than 3.1 billion people in over 200 countries are the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge; Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk; Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout; PlayStation Skills Challenge; RadioShack Shooting Stars; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by Nokia, the league's interactive event that attracts more than 100,000 fans each year; and, the 55th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19.

Building upon its already strong appeal to the nation’s youth and as the Official Wireless Services Partner of the NBA, T-Mobile is showcasing the NBA’s youngest players -- the Rookies -- through the NBA’s Rookie program. Highlights include the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, an All-Star competition between NBA rookies and second-year players, and rookie awards presentations including the T-Mobile Rookie of the Year. As part of a unique package of NBA-themed offerings, T-Mobile users will be receiving special content on NBA rookies providing insights into NBA life both on and off the court.

Below are the rosters for the 2006 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge:

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER          
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
Andrew Bogut Milwaukee F 7-0 245 Utah
Luther Head Houston G 6-3 185 Illinois
Channing Frye New York F 6-11 248 Arizona
Danny Granger Indiana F 6-9 228 New Mexico
Sarunas Jasikevicius Indiana G 6-4 197 Maryland
Chris Paul NOK G 6-0 175 Wake Forest
Nate Robinson New York G 5-9 180 Washington
Charlie Villanueva Toronto F 6-11 240 Connecticut
Deron Williams Utah G 6-3 210 Illinois
           
Head Coach – Sidney Lowe, Detroit Pistons
Assistant Coach - Elvin Hayes
 
SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER          
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. School/Country
Luol Deng Chicago G/F 6-9 220 Duke
T.J. Ford Milwaukee G 6-0 165 Texas
Ben Gordon Chicago G 6-3 200 Connecticut
Devin Harris Dallas G 6-3 185 Wisconsin
Dwight Howard Orlando C/F 6-11 265 SW Atlanta Christian Academy
Andre Iguodala Philadelphia F 6-6 207 Arizona
Nenad Krstic New Jersey C 7-0 240 Serbia & Montenegro
Jameer Nelson Orlando G 6-0 190 Saint Joseph’s
Andres Nocioni Chicago F 6-7 225 Argentina
*Emeka Okafor Charlotte F/C 6-10 252 Connecticut
 
Head Coach – Del Harris, Dallas Mavericks
Assistant Coach - Moses Malone
           
* Will not participate due to injury          

PREVIOUS T-Mobile ROOKIE 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