Gordon Hayward receives Rising Stars Challenge invitation

(***UPDATE: Click for story on Jazz second-year player Gordon Hayward earning spot in Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend.***)

Here’s the press release from the NBA that includes league-wide details about Gordon Hayward’s inclusion — along with 17 others — in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Orlando:

NEW YORK — Feb. 8, 2012 – Reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio, who ranks third overall in assists, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012.
Joining Griffin from the Sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards). 

Irving and Rubio are joined by fellow first-year players MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).The participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. This year, a new format is being implemented to a game that has historically featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. For the first time, rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as the general managers of the two opposing teams – TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ – each with nine man rosters, drafted from the aforementioned pool. TNT’s Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary Commissioner and Ernie Johnson will host the live BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET.

Last year in Los Angeles, the Rookies won for the second consecutive year, 148-140. Wall earned MVP honors after recording a record 22 assists, five more than Chris Paul managed in 2007.

TNT Analysts Mike Fratello and Steve Kerr will be part of the coaching staffs for the teams, with Fratello joining TEAM CHUCK and Kerr joining TEAM SHAQ. The Head Coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2012 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 15. 

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages. NBA games are broadcast to 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Tickets to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge are available for $35 for the upper bowl and $50 for the lower bowl, and fans can visit NBA.com/allstar2012 to purchase them.

NBA All-Star brings together the top NBA players and performers for a week of competition, community service and world-class entertainment. Among the many other exciting All-Star events are Sprite Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session.

Below is the roster for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge:2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Player Pool

                                                        Prior to NBA/
Player        Team        Pos.        Ht.                Wt.        Home Country        Exp
MarShon Brooks        New Jersey        G-F        6-5                200        Providence/USA        R
DeMarcus Cousins        Sacramento        C        6-11        270        Kentucky/USA        1
Landry Fields        New York        G        6-7                210        Stanford/USA        1
Paul George        Indiana        G-F        6-8                215        Fresno State/USA        1
Blake Griffin        L.A. Clippers        F        6-10        251        Oklahoma/USA        1
Gordon Hayward        Utah        F        6-8                210        Butler/USA        1
Kyrie Irving        Cleveland        G        6-3                191        Duke/USA        R
Brandon Knight        Detroit        G        6-3                189        Kentucky/USA        R
Kawhi Leonard        San Antonio        G-F        6-7                225        San Diego State/USA        R
Greg Monroe        Detroit        C        6-11        250        Georgetown/USA        1
Markieff Morris        Phoenix        F        6-10        245        Kansas/USA        R
Ricky Rubio        Minnesota        G        6-4                180        FC Barcelona/Spain        R
Tiago Splitter        San Antonio        F-C        6-11        240        Saski Baskonia/Brazil        1
Tristan Thompson        Cleveland        F        6-9                227        Texas/USA        R
Evan Turner        Philadelphia        G-F        6-7                205        Ohio State/USA        1
John Wall        Washington        G        6-4                195        Kentucky/USA        1
Kemba Walker        Charlotte        G        6-1                172        Connecticut/USA        R
Derrick Williams        Minnesota        F        6-8                241        Arizona State/USA        R

1994 – Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995 – White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996 – East 94, West 92
1997 – East 96, West 91
1998 – East 85, West 80
2000 – Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001 – Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002 – Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003 – Sophomores 132, Rookies 112
2004 – Sophomores 142, Rookies 118
2005 – Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
2006 – Sophomores 106, Rookies 96 
2007 – Sophomores 155, Rookies 114
2008 – Sophomores 136, Rookies 109
2009 – Sophomores 122, Rookies 116
2010 – Rookies 140, Sophomores 128
2011 – Rookies 148, Sophomores 140 

Categories: General

About the Author

Jody Genessy

Jody Genessy is the Utah Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News. To answer some of your questions: 1) Yes, he travels everywhere the Jazz do. 2) No, he doesn't fly on the team charter. 3) No, he can't sneak you into the game, let you take notes for him or get you tickets (sorry, Mom). 4) Yes, he realizes that other people out there have to work for a living so he's a lucky dude. 5) Yes, he usually answers questions in the third person.


  1. Lorraine

    I see great potential for a few of the guys on the team that would make them tteber Pro prospects then college players as there are going to be a few late bloomers here. #1 is Jamail Jones if he can find his niche’ and gain some playing time. Jamil Wilson as well and Juan down the road. DJO might be NBDL material for the most part and Vander might get a look because he is big and can really guard but will have a tough time if he can’t hit a jumper and find a position. Every one of these cats are dreaded tweeners.’ It is not always advantageous to have multi-positional players all the time because you want defined guys but all have a shot in this system. But the comp in the Big East and the team shifts will hurt alot of these guys as far as being recognizable but Buzz and MU have agreat track record and rep now for turning out hard working kids we’ll see.

  2. Kazuya

    Waaaaaaaay too optimistic. DJO ltotery? Don’t forget that about a half-dozen sure-fire ltotery picks stayed in school because of the lockout. He has to have a Kemba or D-Wade type year to even get into the first round.Wilson looks like an NBA player provided he has the work ethic. Right now, Crowder, Vander, and Jamail all look like NBADL at best. Need to show a lot more to get drafted even in the second. Too early to say on Juan, Mayo, or DW.Either way, great talking points!