Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Mirotic selected for BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
Feb. 13 Game Features U.S. vs. World Format for First Time
Jan. 28, 2015 – Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotić has been selected to play in the new-look BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2015.
The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent will debut a format that pits 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world. The game, set for Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be televised live by TNT at 9:00 p.m. ET, part of Turner Sports’ 30th year of All-Star coverage.
This year’s edition showcases 10 of the top 15 picks from the 2013 NBA Draft, and all four participants in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk, which will be held during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center.
In his first season in the NBA, Mirotić is averaging 7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.64 bpg and 0.57 spg in 18.0 mpg. Mirotić, who will suit up for the World Team, ranks first among all rookies in three-point field goal percentage, first in free-throw percentage, fourth in rebounds, fourth in blocks and fifth in scoring. On the year, he has posted 20 games with 10 or more points, two games with 20 or more points and three double-doubles. He claimed Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for the month of December, as he recorded 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg and shot .439 from the field.
Mirotić will be joined on the World Team by Andrew Wiggins (15.2 ppg) of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wiggins is one of two Canadians on the roster, along with the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk and the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, the third-leading shot-blocker in the NBA (2.18 bpg). The other World Team players are Sprite Slam Dunk entrant Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn Nets, Gorgui Dieng of the Timberwolves, Dante Exum of the Jazz and Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks.
The U.S. squad is comprised of last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams is joined on the U.S. Team by Sprite Slam Dunk competitors Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves, Victor Oladipo of the Magic and Mason Plumlee of the Nets. The rookie leader in assists (the Magic’s Elfrid Payton) and the rookie leader in rebounds, blocked shots and steals (the 76ers’ Nerlens Noel) were also selected for the U.S. Team, which is rounded out by Trey Burke of the Jazz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Detroit Pistons, Shabazz Muhammad of the Timberwolves and Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets.
Both BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge rosters, chosen by the NBA’s assistant coaches, had to include four guards, four frontcourt players and two players at any position. The coaches also picked a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players for each team.
The head coaches for the 21st BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be assistants from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson will guide the World Team, and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry will lead the U.S. Team.
NBA All-Star 2015 will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. In addition to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, TNT will also air State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Barclays Center and the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden. Other events at Barclays Center include the NBA Development League All-Star Game and the NBA Development League Dream Factory, both airing Sunday on NBA TV. Madison Square Garden will host Friday night’s ESPN-televised Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
Below are the rosters for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
World team roster
|Player||Team||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||School or Team/Country||Experince|
|Steven Adams||Thunder||C||7-0||255||Pittsburgh/New Zealand||1|
|Bojan Bogdanovic||Nets||G/F||6-8||216||Fenerbahce Ulker/Croatia||R|
|Dante Exum||Jazz||G||6-6||190||Lake Ginninderra/Australia||R|
|Nikola Mirotic||Bulls||F||6-10||220||Real Madrid/Montenegro||R|
|Dennis Schroder||Hawks||G||6-1||168||Phantoms Braunschweig/Germany||1|
Head Coach: Kenny Atkinson, Hawks
U.S. team roster
Head Coach: Alvin Gentry, Warriors