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In late January, the NBA announced a revised format for the annual Rising Stars matchup at All-Star Weekend, featuring the game’s best young players. As part of the new design for the event, 28 players are involved, with four teams of seven in a bracket-style format that features two semifinal games and a final matchup. On Tuesday, the official selections were released on TNT, including 12 rookies, 12 sophomores, and four members of the G League Ignite program.
First, the rookie crop was revealed, headlined by No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham and Rookie of the Year frontrunner Evan Mobley. While top picks are usually projected to appear, the rookie group also features a pair of second round picks from 2021 in Pelicans wing Herb Jones and Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu.
Your rookies for this year's Rising Stars Challenge pic.twitter.com/Kdlsh0KlN8
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) February 2, 2022
The sophomore crop also features star power with Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and Wolves wing Anthony Edwards, both of whom would be at least peripheral candidates to be selected as All-Star reserves. Grizzlies wing Desmond Bane is also enjoying a breakout this season, making the cut for Rising Stars in the process, and he is joined by Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton and others.
Finally, the G League Ignite squad will be represented by Jaden Hardy, MarJon Beauchamp, Dyson Daniels, and Scoot Henderson. Hardy is considered to be a potential lottery pick in 2022 and, while Henderson is not draft-eligible in 2022, he is considered to be one of the best prospects in the world.
The showcase will take place on Friday, Feb. 18 at 9 pm ET on TNT.