One of the better parts of All-Star weekend is the Rising Star challenge, which evolved from the old Rookie-Sophomore challenge along with where former NBA players and analysts selected teams to face each other(Team Shaq, Team Chuck, Team Webber, Team Hill). This year’s event features a new twist that should only add to the excitement of the event. A global twist if you will, below is the press release from the NBA of the changes to the event.
NEW USA VS. WORLD FORMAT BRINGS ADDED DIMENSION TO BBVA COMPASS RISING STARS CHALLENGE
-Feb. 13 Game Includes 10 Players Each from U.S. and International Ranks-
NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2015 – The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City will feature a new format that pits first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world, the NBA announced today.
The NBA’s annual showcase of premier first- and second-year players is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. TNT will televise the 21st BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at 9 p.m. ET as part of Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage. BBVA Compass is the official bank of the NBA in the United States and maintains its role as title partner for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.
The league’s assistant coaches will select 10 U.S. players and 10 international players for the game, with one ballot for each of the NBA’s 30 teams. Both 10-man rosters will include four guards, four frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Each team will also feature a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players among its 10 spots.
The head coaches for each team will be an assistant from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star Game coaches will be determined by the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 1.
A record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories were on opening-night rosters for the 2014-15 season, more than double the amount from 2000-01 (45 international players) and nearly five times as many as in 1990-91 (21). Canada boasts a league-high total of six international first- and second-year players, half of the record 12 Canadians in the NBA this season, including the No. 1 overall picks in each of the last two NBA Drafts. Australia has a combined four international first- and second-year players, half of the record eight Australians in the NBA this season.
This game is already an exciting event, giving young players a chance to showcase their skills in front of a national audience. Adding this dimension of pride should only enhance the game, possibly give it an Olympic feel. What do you think of the new change to the event?