• Kia Skills Challenge Winner: Team Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY — The hometown Team Jazz took home the 2023 Kia Skills Challenge at Vivint Arena on State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. Comprised of Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler and Collin Sexton, that trio defeated Team Rooks and Team Antetokounmmpo with a strong showing in Team Shooting.
After Team Antetokoummpo set the mark with eight points in the round, the Jazz took the round on a 3-pointer from the corner by the rookie Kessler. In that round, players took turns shooting from five different spots, which had values of anywhere from one point to five points.
Overall, the Kia Skills Challenge is a three-round competition where the teams of three players amass “Challenge Points” throughout each round. The team with the most points is crowned champion, but tie-breaker rules are in place if necessary.
In Team Relay — the first round — Team Rooks (1:14.8) defeated Team Antetokounmpo (1:23.7) and Team Jazz to win that round and the accompanying 100 challenge points. Jabari Smith Jr. and Paolo Banchero got Team Rooks off to a strong start, but Jaden Ivey came up big by hitting his corner 3-pointer and blazing to the finish line to best Team Antetokounmpo’s time. The course required players to make a 35-foot outlet pass, dribble through three moving pilons and attempt three different shots (one in the lane, a left corner 3-pointer and a layup or dunk).
In the thrilling second round, Team Passing, Team Jazz ran wild down the stretch and finished with 88 points, besting the 84 points Team Antetokounmpo and outpacing Team Rooks (78 points). That gave Team Jazz 100 challenge points as the round featured the teams trying to make passes to varying lengths and types — a 35-foot outlet pass, a 20-foot bounce pass and a 25-foot chest pass — through moving targets in 30 seconds. Each team had to attempt at least one pass at each target.
Team Antetokounmpo had a late change to the roster before the Kia Skills Challenge as Giannis Antetokounmpo was scratched from the event due to injury and replaced by his Milwaukee Bucks teammate, Jrue Holiday.
The NBA followed the format for the 2023 Kia Skills Challenge that it put in place for the 2022 edition of the event, converting it from an individual competition to a team-based affair.
— Jeff Case
2023 Kia Skills Challenge Participants
> Team Antetokounmpo
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks *
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Alex Antetokounmpo, Wisconsin Herd
* = out due to injury
> Team Jazz
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
Collin Sexton, Utah Jazz
> Team Rookies
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic
Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons
Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets