Walker Kessler, Team Jalen Win Rising Stars Challenge

Feb 16, 2024, 9:01 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2024, 2:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Walker Kessler and Team Jalen won the Rising Stars Challenge at the 2024 NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis.

Kessler started both games for team Jalen totaling six points and three rebounds over his two appearances.

The Jazz big man won $25,000 for winning the Rising Stars Challenge.

Walker Kessler Wins Rising Stars Challenge

Kessler got off to a quick start in the championship game scoring four points including a dunk against Indiana Pacers big man Oscar Tshiebwe.

The second-year center played just under four minutes in the final.

“We knew that we had to come out and play hard,” Kessler said.

Team Jalen beat Team Detlef in the final 26-13, with Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin taking home the MVP trophy.

“Rising Stars concluded, got the dub,” Kessler said after the win. “Feeling good, got the prize money.”

In his first game, Kessler scored two points, grabbed two rebounds, and dished out one assist in just under 10 minutes.

Keyonte George Eliminated In Game One

In the first round of the Rising Stars Challenge, George’s Team Tamika was eliminated in the opening game by Kessler’s Team Jalen 40-35.

The Jazz guard scored two points, grabbed one rebound, and recorded one steal and one block in eight minutes.

On the heels of his NBA record shooting performance against the Golden State Warriors, the guard connected on 1-4 attempts, but missed all three of his three-point attempts.

George and Kessler had two interactions during the semi-final game.

First, Kessler was called for an offensive foul when he bear-hugged George while setting a screen.

Related: Lauri Markkanen To Compete In Three-Point Contest

“Walker did his thing and he cheated,” George joked after the game. Grateful for this opportunity, had an amazing time, grateful to be in Indy, now the goal is to get back here next year.”

The rookie got the last laugh as he finished with a nifty up-and-under layup around Kessler.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.


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Walker Kessler, Team Jalen Win Rising Stars Challenge