Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Carter-Williams, Davis, Lillard, Hardaway Jr. Headline Rising Stars Challenge
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and the Knicks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2014 Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be played Friday, Feb. 14, in New Orleans during NBA All-Star 2014.
Syracuse, Kentucky and Michigan each have two former players in the game. Carter-Williams and Dion Waiters of the Cleveland Cavaliers went to Syracuse, Davis and Terrence Jones of the Houston Rockets played at Kentucky and Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz were Wolverines.
Carter-Williams, the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, leads all first year players in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), rebounding (5.6 apg) and steals (2.41 spg). Davis, the league leader in blocks (3.27 bpg), is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year has the Trail Blazers near the top of the Western Conference standings thanks to averages of 20.6 points and 5.6 assists.
Hardaway Jr. recently scored 18 points in the Knicks win over the Lakers on Sunday.
“It means a lot, it means the world to me,” Hardaway Jr. said Thursday
Below is the roster for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge:
2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Player Pool
Prior to NBA/
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp
Steven Adams Oklahoma CityC 7-0 255 Pittsburgh/New Zealand R
Pero Antic Atlanta C 6-11 260 Olympiacos/Macedonia R
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee G/F 6-9 205 Filathlitkos/Greece R
Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA 1
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA 1
Trey Burke Utah G 6-1 190 Michigan/USA R
Michael Carter-Williams Philadelphia G 6-6 185 Syracuse/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F/C 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA 1
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA 1
Tim Hardaway, Jr. New York G 6-6 205 Michigan/USA R
Terrence Jones Houston F 6-9 252 Kentucky/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA 1
Victor Oladipo Orlando G 6-4 215 Indiana/USA R
Kelly Olynyk Boston F/C 7-0 238 Gonzaga/Canada R
Mason Plumlee Brooklyn F/C 6-11 235 Duke/USA R
Jared Sullinger Boston F/C 6-9 260 Ohio State/USA 1
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto C 6-11 231 Lietuvos Rytas/Lithuania1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 225 Syracuse/USA 1
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.