The Rookie/Sophomore game during NBA All-Star weekend is no more. The game will now be called the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge and no longer feature first year players against second year players. From now on there will be a pool of players selected to the game and the teams will be chosen by the two head coaches in a draft format. This year Shaquille O’Neil and Charles Barkley will be the head coaches and choose their teams live on TNT. The Timberwolves will be represented in this year’s game by Rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams. Many fans will feel Nikola Pekovic also deserves to be selected to the game but his emergence as a force for the Timberwolves was a couple weeks late. Below is the entire pool of players that were selected.

ROOKIES: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), Derrick Williams (Timberwolves), Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers), Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Kemba Walker (Bobcats), Markieff Morris (Suns), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Marshon Brooks(Nets).

SOPHOMORES: Blake Griffin (Clippers), John Wall (Wizards), Evan Turner (76ers),DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Greg Monroe (Pistons), Gordon Hayward (Jazz), Paul George (Pacers), Landry Fields (Knicks), Tiago Splitter (Spurs).

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