Rodney Hood and Raul Neto Named to 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
Jazz one of three teams to have players chosen to both U.S. and World Teams
SALT LAKE CITY (January 27, 2016) – The NBA announced today that second-year Utah Jazz guard/forward Rodney Hood (U.S. Team) and rookie guard Raul Neto (World Team) have been selected to the 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto. The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent 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 is set for 7 p.m. MT on Friday, Feb. 12 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and will be televised live by TNT.
The Jazz are one of six teams to have multiple players selected to the event, and one of just three teams to have players chosen for both the U.S. and World teams.
Hood (6-8, 206, Duke) is making his first appearance in the Rising Stars Challenge and will be playing for the U.S. Team. A 2014 first-round pick (23rd overall), Hood has appeared in 42 games (all starts) this season and is currently averaging 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30.5 minutes of action. He has scored in double digits in 31 games this season, including 20-plus points on six occasions and 30-or-more points in one game. He has led the Jazz in scoring in six contests, including a season-high 32 points on 50.0 percent shooting, including five three-pointers made, vs. Memphis on Jan. 2.
Neto (6-1, 179, Brazil) has appeared in 43 games (42 starts) for the Jazz, averaging 5.7 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19.0 minutes. He has registered 10-plus points in six games this season, including three this month. During the month of January, Neto is averaging 6.6 points on 41.0 percent shooting (32-78), 2.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 22.5 minutes in 13 games (all starts). Originally a 2013 second-round pick (47th overall), Neto this season became the first Jazz rookie to start a season opener since 1993-94, and the first rookie point guard to do it since 1979-80.
Hood and Neto will become the 11th and 12th Jazz players, respectively, to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge, joining Bryon Russell (1994), Andrei Kirilenko (2002, 2003), Deron Williams (2006, 2007), Paul Millsap (2007, 2008), Ronnie Brewer (2008), Derrick Favors (2012), Gordon Hayward (2012), Trey Burke (2014, 2015), Danté Exum (2015) and Rudy Gobert (2015).
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.