Jazz Rookie Walker Kessler Named To Rising Stars Challenge

Jan 31, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2023, 2:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – According to Shams Charania, Jazz fans will have a familiar face to root for during the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend, standout rookie bigman Walker Kessler.

After landing in Utah as a part of the Rudy Gobert trade, Kessler has been an essential part of the Jazz’s success this season.

Walker Kessler As A Rookie

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The former Auburn Tiger has had impressive stats in his rookie campaign. He is averaging 7.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 71.5%.

Kessler’s 2.0 blocks per game is good for fourth in the NBA. He only trails Brooklyn’s Nic Claxton, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, and Indiana’s Myles Turner.

Walker Kessler came in and filled the hole left by Gobert nicely. Despite averaging more blocks than him this year, Kessler has said that he appreciates Gobert’s game and even modeled his defensive game after him.

Kessler flew under the radar at first, but his impact has since gained league-wide attention. Kessler was recently top-3 in the Rookie of the Year ladder.

NBA Rising Stars Challenge

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge is on Friday, February 17, at 7 p.m.

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The game features all of the best first-year and second-year players in the association going head-to-head. In past years, the game has been played as ‘Rookies vs. Sophomores’ and ‘Team USA vs. Team World’. After a format change last season, it is now a tournament-style event with scoring goals in each round. The game features 12 rookies, 12 sophomores, and 4 NBA G League Ignite players.

Tickets for the NBA Rising Stars Challenge are available here.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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