Culture of Hoops

2016 NBA All-Star Weekend: Rising Stars Challenge

Scree capture courtesy of the NBA/YouTube

Scree capture courtesy of the NBA/YouTube

The Rising Stars Challenge is chance for the young players of the NBA to showcase their talents during All-Star Weekend.  Since the Rising Stars game started in 1994, the rookies and sophomores in the NBA have put on a show every year with dunks, passes, crossovers, shooting and more.  Some of the past MVP’s in this game have been Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, and Andre Drummond, all who are All-Stars this year.

This game consisted of no defense right from the beginning and stayed that way.  The highlights started early when Los Angeles Lakers, guard, Jordan Clarkson, threw a full-court pass to slam dunk champion, Zach LaVine, who caught  the ball, dribbled once and slammed the ball down with two hands.  The World came right back with Emmanuel Mudiay throwing a alley-oop to Canada’s own, Andrew Wiggins, for the slam.  Then it became a three-point shootout a day early, as both teams started launching the ball from downtown.  Jabari Parker put that to a halt when he drove down an empty lame and threw down a windmill dunk.

The Dallas Mavericks’, Dwight Powell, had a put-back dunk in the first half that got the crowd to their feet.  New York Knicks’ sensational rookie, Kristaps Porzingis, finished the half with a monster one hand jam off a no-look pass by Mudiay.  The halftime score was 88-79, with the U.S. team leading over the World team.

In the second half there was still a lot of dunks, three-point shooting, and especially no defense.  As the game came to the close, both teams got serious trying to get the win for their respective teams.  After a put-back dunk by Wiggins, the World Team trailed by three points with 23 seconds remaining, but the U.S. team held on as Jabari Parker received a inbound pass and dunked the ball over Porzingis to end the game, giving the U.S. Team a 157-154 victory.

Zach LaVine was awarded the MVP award as he finished the game with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.

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