Former Kentucky standout De’Aaron Fox will replace an injured Lonzo Ball in NBA All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars Challenge, the NBA announced Wednesday.
Fox, a 6-foot-4 point guard for the Sacramento Kings, chosen No. 5 overall in last summer’s NBA Draft out of UK, has averaged 11.3 points and 4.3 assists in about 27 minutes per game in 49 games played during his rookie season.
Ball, a 6-6 point guard out of UCLA and the No. 2 overall pick in the same draft, has not played since Jan. 13 because of discomfort in his left knee. He’s averaging 10.3 points, 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds in about 34 minutes per game in 36 games played.
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Fox and Ball famously dueled when they were in college in a regular season and NCAA Tournament game with Fox getting the better of the matchup in both outings and the win in the tournament game. Fox: had 20 and 39 points and eight and four assists, respectively in the two games against Ball’s 14 and 10 points and seven and eight assists.
Fox joins another former Kentucky player in Rising Stars event. Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets claimed MVP honors in last season’s challenge and is back this year.
The game will be played at 9 p.m. Friday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.