NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2006 – Milwaukee Bucks forward Andrew Bogut, the first overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft, and Orlando Magic forward Dwight 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.

Villanueva and Bogut will try to lead the Rookies to their first win over the Sophs since 2002.
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
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; Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic 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.

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER

PlayerTeamPos.Ht.Wt.School/Country
Andrew BogutMilwaukeeF7-0245Utah
Luther HeadHoustonG6-3185Illinois
Channing FryeNew YorkF6-11248Arizona
Danny GrangerIndianaF6-9228New Mexico
Sarunas JasikeviciusIndianaG6-4197Maryland
Chris PaulNOKG6-0175Wake Forest
Nate RobinsonNew YorkG5-9180Washington
Charlie VillanuevaTorontoF6-11240Connecticut
Deron WilliamsUtahG6-3210Illinois

Head Coach – Sidney Lowe, Detroit Pistons
Assistant Coach – Elvin Hayes

SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER

PlayerTeamPos.Ht.Wt.School/Country
Luol DengChicagoG/F6-9220Duke
T.J. FordMilwaukeeG6-0165Texas
Ben GordonChicagoG6-3200Connecticut
Devin HarrisDallasG6-3185Wisconsin
Dwight HowardOrlandoC/F6-11265SW Atlanta Christian Academy
Andre IguodalaPhiladelphiaF6-6207Arizona
Nenad KrsticNew JerseyC7-0240Serbia & Montenegro
Jameer NelsonOrlandoG6-0190Saint Joseph’s
Andres NocioniChicagoF6-7225Argentina
*Emeka OkaforCharlotteF/C6-10252Connecticut

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