Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid, Dario Šarić and Ben Simmons Named to MTN Dew Kickstart Rising Stars
PHILADELPHIA – JAN. 24, 2018 – The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, forward Dario Šarić and leading Rookie of the Year candidate guard-forward Ben Simmons have been selected as participants for Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars during NBA All-Star 2018. The game will be played on Friday, Feb. 16 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on TNT and ESPN Radio.
Embiid (Cameroon), Šarić (Croatia) and Simmons (Australia) will all represent the World Team.
Three 76ers have been selected to play in the game for third time in the past four seasons. In 2015, Michael Carter-Williams, Robert Covington (injury replacement for Carter-Williams) and Nerlens Noel were selected and in 2017, Embiid, Šarić and Jahlil Okafor were chosen. Embiid’s and Šarić’s selections make them two of five 76ers in franchise history to be selected as a Rising Star in both their first and second seasons, , Jahlil Okafor (2016 and 2017), Carter-Williams (2014 and 2015) and Andre Iguodala (2005 and 2006).
Embiid, who has been selected as a starter in the 67th NBA All-Star Game after finishing third in voting among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, is averaging 22.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 blocks per game through the first 65 games of his career. He is the only player, since 1963-64, to hold these averages. The Cameroon native won Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 21. Embiid did not participate in the 2017 Rising Stars game due to an injury.
Šarić is currently riding a 23-game double-figure scoring streak dating back to Nov. 29. The second-year forward out of Croatia and Embiid (34) are the only rookies or sophomores with a streak of 23 or more games this season. Šarić’s averages in points (13.8), rebounds (6.9) and assists (2.7) have all increased from his rookie campaign. The 2017 Rising Stars game saw Šarić, in a starting role, help the World Team to a 150-141 victory over the U.S. Team by scoring 17 points, collecting five rebounds and recording four assists in 27 minutes of play.
Simmons, one of eight active players born in Australia, leads all rookies in assists (303) and steals (78). He is the only player, since 1963-64, to have at least 600 points, 300 rebounds and 300 assists through the first 42 games of his career. The Louisiana State product was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the month for games played in October/November.
The NBA’s assistant coaches chose the rosters for the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars, with each of the league’s 30 teams submitting one ballot per coaching staff. Coaches selected four guards, four frontcourt players and two players at either position group for each team. They also picked a minimum of three first-year NBA players and three second-year NBA players for each team.
The head coaches for the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2018 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The All-Star coaching staffs are determined by the best record in each conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among teams with eligible head coaches. Boston head coach Brad Stevens and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr are ineligible to coach in the NBA All-Star Game because they did so last year.
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association, having won three World Championships, earning nine trips to The Finals and making 47 playoff appearances over 68 seasons. The Philadelphia organization is a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property.