Kuzma, Mitchell Are Latest Beehive State Connections In Rising Stars Challenge
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The state of Utah will have two representatives in the upcoming Rising Stars Challenge, a part of the NBA All-Star weekend.
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and former Ute Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers will participate in the game that includes the best first and second year players in the league.
The first Rising Stars game was played in 1994. They took a break in 1998 and 1999 before playing ever year since 2000.
Utah has had 20 players participate in the event since 1994, whether a Jazz player or former college standout.
Here are all of the past performers from the Rising Stars Challenge with locals ties:
1994 – Former Jazzman, Former BYU Center
Bryon Russell was on the Phenoms team that beat the Sensations 74-68. Only eight guys played for each team. Russell finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes.
Former BYU center Shawn Bradley was on the Sensations team as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. He scored 8 points, pulled down 2 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in 20 minutes.
Golden State Warriors forward Chris Webber was the leading scorer for the Phenoms with 18. Orlando Magic’s Anfernee Hardaway was named the MVP after scoring 22 points for the Sensations.
The game was in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Target Center.
1998 – Former Utah Ute Forward
Keith Van Horn was a part of the 1998 Rising Stars Challenge as a member of the New Jersey Nets. The second overall pick had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Eastern Rising Stars beat the West 85-80.
Cleveland Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was named MVP after his 18-point, 7-rebound performance. Denver Nuggets guard Bobby Jackson led the Western Conference with 14 points.
The game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
2000 – Former Utah Point Guard
2000 – Former Ute Andre Miller played in the 2000 Rising Stars Challenge as a rookie from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The eighth overall pick put up 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 30 minutes in the Rookies 92-83 overtime win over the sophomores.
Elton Brand of the Chicago Bulls was named the MVP with 16 points and 21 rebounds. The sophomores were led by Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce with 18 points.
Game was played in Oakland, California.
2001 – Miller Returns As Sophomore
As a sophomore, Miller played in the Rising Stars Challenge again. He had 2 points, 2 assists and 2 steals in just 14 minutes of play in the sophomores 121-113.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wally Szczerbiak led the team with 27 points and 8 rebounds and was named MVP. The Rookies were led by Los Angeles Clippers sharpshooter Quentin Richardson with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The game was played at the MCI Center in Washington D.C.
2002 – AK-47 Helps Rookie Team
Andrei Kirilenko was on the Rookie team that beat the Sophomores 103-97. Kirilenko had 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in 15 minutes of play. Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors was named the MVP after scoring 26 points. Quentin Richardson of the Los Angeles Clippers was the leader in scoring for the sophomores with 22 points.
The game was played in the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2003 – Kirilenko Returns As Sophomore
The Jazzman had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in their 132-112 win over the Rookies.
Golden State Warriors point guard Gilbert Arenas was named MVP after scoring 30 points. The sophomore team was led by Caron Butler of the Miami heat with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals.
The game was played at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
2006 – Jazz Rookie Point Guard, No. 1 Pick Ute
Deron Williams participated with the Rookie squad in the 2006 Rising Stars Challenge. The former third overall pick had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 12 minutes. The Rookies lost the sophomores 106-96.
Former Ute and No. 1 overall pick to the Milwaukee Bucks, Andrew Bogut joined Williams with the rookie team. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 block.
The leading scorer for the rookies was Charlie Villanueva of the New York Knicks, with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers scored 30 points for the sophomores and was named MVP.
The game was played at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
2007 – Williams, Bogut Back With Jazz Rookie Forward
Williams and Bogut returned with the Sophomores while Jazzman Paul Millsap was on the rookie team.
Williams finished with 19 points, 1 rebound and 7 assists in 15 minutes. He shot 8-for-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from downtown.
Bogut recorded 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in 25 minutes.
Millsap tied a team-high with 22 points to go with his 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. He played 27 minutes and shot 9-of-13 from the field.
The sophomores easily handled the Rookies 155-114. New York Knicks forward David Lee had 30 points and 11 rebounds, earning MVP honors.
The game was played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2008 – Millsap, Brewer
Millsap was on the Sophomore team, looking to take down the rookies. He had fellow Jazzman Ronnie Brewer participate with the second year players.
Millsap didn’t do a lot in the game as he finished with just 2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists on just 1-of-4 shooting in 22 minutes.
Brewer posted 13 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 1 block on 6-for-6 shooting in 18 minutes.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Daniel Gibson dropped 33 points, including 11 three-pointers for the sophomores and was named MVP. Kevin Durant led the Rookie team with 23 points and 8 rebounds.
The game was played in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2012 – Jazz Sophomore Duo
2012 – The Jazz had two representatives in the Rising Stars Challenge, both played for “Team Chuck” with Charles Barkley as the captain. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors were in their second season in the NBA.
Hayward scored 14 points, pulled down 3 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and blocked 2 shots in 18 minutes.
Favors recorded 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals in 15 minutes.
Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers scored 34 points to lead Team Chuck and won the MVP award. They beat Shaquille O’Neal’s “Team Shaq,” 146-133. Team Shaq was led by Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson with 20 points.
The game was played at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
2013 – Former Wildcat
2013 – O’Neal and Barkley were captains again for the Rising Stars Challenge.
Former Weber State Wildcat Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers participated in the game during his rookie season. He had 18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals for Team Shaq.
Irving led the team with 32 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Team Chuck was led by Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets with 40 points and 10 rebounds. Team Chuck won for the second straight year, 163-135.
The game was played at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
2014 – Lillard Back With Jazz Rookie
Two players with local ties competed in the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge. Lillard was back as a sophomore in the NBA. Former Jazzman Trey Burke played as a rookie. Grant Hill and Chris Webber were captains of the event with Lillard playing for Team Hill and Burke playing for Team Webber.
Lillard finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 30 minutes of action.
Burke had 6 points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field and 0-of-7 from deep.
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond took home MVP honors with 30 points and 25 rebounds, helping Team Hill beat Team Webber 142-136. Tim Hardaway Jr. of the New York Knicks had 36 points for Team Webber.
The game was played at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2015 – Three Jazz Players
Utah had three representatives participate in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge, two for Team World and one for Team USA.
Rudy Gobert had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in 20 minutes for Team World.
Gobert’s teammate Dante Exum recorded 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in 16 minutes.
Trey Burke – as a sophomore had 17 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes.
Team World beat Team USA 121-112. Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic and Zach LaVine with the Minnesota Timberwolves had 22 points apiece to lead Team USA. Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins had 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Team World, taking home the MVP award.
The game was played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
2016 – Three Different Jazz Players
The Jazz had three representatives in the event. Rookie Rodney Hood was on Team USA, while Raul Neto and Trey Lyles played for Team World.
Hood had 11 points in 16 minutes of play.
Neto had 2 points, 1 rebound and 9 assists in 18 minutes.
Lyles scored just 2 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 12 minutes.
Team USA got past Team World 157-154. Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine was named MVP after he finished with 30 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Denver Nuggets guard and New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis each had 30 points apiece.
The game was played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
2017 – Lyles, Exum Return
Lyles and Dante Exum played for Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge in 2017.
Exum had 11 points and 4 assists on 5-for-10 shooting in 20 minutes of action.
Lyles finished with 7 points and 2 assists in 14 minutes.
Team World beat Team USA 150-141. Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray won the MVP award when he scored 36 points. Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky led team USA with 44 points.
The game was played at Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2018 – Jazz Star, Former Ute Participate
One local college star and a Jazzman played in the Rising Stars Challenge last season. Donovan Mitchell represented the Jazz, while former Ute and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma were on Team USA.
Mitchell had 7 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks in 23 minutes of play.
Kuzma finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in 19 minutes.
Team World beat Team USA 155-124. Sacramento Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic had 26 points, on his way to earning MVP honors. Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had 35 points and 10 rebounds.
The game was played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.