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Evan Turner to compete in Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend - 2/8/2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – FEBRUARY 8, 2012 – The NBA announced the list of participants for the first-ever BBVA Rising Stars Challenge today and Sixers guard Evan Turner was one of 18 players selected by the league’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. Formally known as the Rookie Challenge, the new format will feature rookies and sophomores mixed together.

"We are thrilled to get the great news regarding Evan Turner’s selection to the NBA Rising Stars Challenge,” said Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins. “He has worked very hard to improve all aspects of his game and he plays a vital role to our team’s success. On behalf of the entire 76ers organization, I can’t begin to express how proud and happy we are for Evan.”

Turner, the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has appeared in all but one game this season and is averaging 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 25.6 minutes per game. He is currently the only player in the league averaging at least 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists while playing under 26 minutes a game. Turner will be the fourth player on the current roster to compete in the event as a Sixer, joining Andre Iguodala (2005, 2006), Thaddeus Young (2009) and Jrue Holiday (2011).

Joining Turner from the Sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs) and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Representing the Rookie class are: MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and former Sixer Charles Barkley will serve as the general managers of the two opposing teams - TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ - each with nine man rosters, drafted from the aforementioned pool. TNT’s Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary Commissioner and Ernie Johnson will host the live BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on Feb. 24 by TNT at 9 p.m. ET 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.

About NBA All-Star 2012

NBA All-Star 2012 in Orlando will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 61st NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Amway Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for a 10th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 27th year of All-Star coverage. NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm will feature the Haier Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2012 will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. Orlando also hosted NBA All-Star in 1992.