NEW YORK – TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, serving as general managers for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, made their player selections Thursday night on NBA TV.

With the first pick of the first-ever draft for the event, TEAM SHAQ selected Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers while TEAM CHUCK countered by tapping Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the second overall selection. Each former All-Star then filled their rosters through the draft process.

Ken Rodriguez is a San Antonio native who covered his first Spurs game in 1981 for The Daily Texan, the University of Texas student newspaper. He spent 26 years in the newspaper business -- 21 of them covering sports -- before joining the marketing department at Our Lady of the Lake University in 2009. His column will appear every Wednesday.