Kyrie Irving won’t be the only Cleveland Cavalier participating in NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. The BBVA Rising Stars roster was released Wednesday after with four Cavaliers being selected for the event. Irving and 2011 NBA Draft partner Tristan Thompson as well as rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller will all participate in the event on Febraury 15th.
The BBVA Rising Stars game was previously known as the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, but was rebranded in 2012. Turner Sports, who televises the event, changed the format in the game from rookies vs. second-year players to a draft between two team managers. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley will draft their teams from a list of 18 players for the game. “Team Chuck” defeated “Team Shaq” 145-133 last season.
Irving and Thompson played in the event last season as rookies. Irving scored 34 points and was awarded the game’s Most Valuable Player Award. Irving was selected to his first NBA All-Star game this year, but plans on playing in the Friday’s game as well. He’s been incredible this year for the Cavs, leading the team in scoring (23.9 ppg), assists (5.5 apg) and steals (1.8 spg).
Thompson is having a productive second season in the NBA, averaging 11 points and nine rebounds per game. The 21-year old has started all 46 games for Cleveland this season.
Tyler Zeller has stepped in as the Cavs’ starting center after the team lost Anderson Varajao for the season in December. The 7-foot rookie averages just over eight points and six rebounds a night and has battled through multiple injuries early on this season.
Waiters has been inconsistent in his rookie year with the Cavaliers. After being selected fourth overall in the 2012 draft, Waiters scored in double-figures in eight of the last 12 games. He scored a career-high 33 points on January 14th in a loss to the Kings.
The BBVA Rising Stars draft will air live on TNT on Thursday, February 7th.