Ex-Cats

UK has been represented 26 times in NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge. See who’s on the list.

World guard Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets holds up his MVP trophy after the Rising Stars Challenge, part of NBA All-Star events in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
World guard Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets holds up his MVP trophy after the Rising Stars Challenge, part of NBA All-Star events in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. AP

Jamal Murray has been selected for the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge, an event in which he was named MVP as a rookie last season, becoming the latest in a long line of former Kentucky players to take part.

Murray, in his second season playing for the Denver Nuggets, is the only UK representative in this year’s Challenge, which will be held NBA All-Star weekend, Feb. 16-18, in Los Angeles. Rising Stars are nominated by the NBA’s assistant coaches.

But the Cats will have two All-Star starters in New Orleans Pelicans teammates Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and two All-Star reserves in John Wall and Karl-Anthony Towns. That’s tied for the most NBA All-Stars from one school with UCLA, which also had four in 1983.

Murray, the seventh overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, is averaging 16.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season. He’s scored 30 or more points in five games this season.

Last season, Murray led four former UK players in the Challenge game with 36 points and 11 assists to win MVP honors. Also playing were Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns.

John Wall won MVP honors in the 2011 game thanks to 22 assists, but the honor could have also easily gone to former UK teammate DeMarcus Cousins who scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Wall’s assists total is the record for the event. Eric Bledsoe also played.

Since the Challenge’s inception in 1994, former UK players have been part of the game 26 times, beginning with Jamal Mashburn’s appearance in the inaugural game.

Kentucky’s Rising Stars

Former Kentucky players selected to the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge game.

2018: Jamal Murray

2017: Jamal Murray-1, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns

2016: Nerlens Noel-2, Towns, Booker, Lyles

2015: Noel

2014: Anthony Davis

2013: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brandon Knight, Davis

2012: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Knight

2011: Eric Bledsoe, Wall-1, Cousins

2008: Rajon Rondo

2004: Tayshaun Prince

1998: Derek Anderson, Ron Mercer

1997: Antoine Walker

1994: Jamal Mashburn

1-Named MVP of game

2-Injured

2018 Rising Stars Challenge rosters

USA ROSTER

Player

Team

Malcolm Brogdon

Milwaukee Bucks

Lonzo Ball

Los Angeles Lakers

Jaylen Brown

Boston Celtics

John Collins

Atlanta Hawks

Kris Dunn

Chicago Bulls

Brandon Ingram

Los Angeles Lakers

Kyle Kuzma

Los Angeles Lakers

Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz

Dennis Smith

Dallas Mavericks

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

WORLD ROSTER

Player

Team

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Sacramento Kings

Dillon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies

Joel Embiid

Philadelphia Sixers

Buddy Hield

Sacramento Kings

Lauri Markkanen

Chicago Bulls

Jamal Murray

Denver Nuggets

Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks

Domas Sabonis

Indiana Pacers

Dario Saric

Philadelphia Sixers

Ben Simmons

Philadelphia Sixers

  Comments