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Rising Stars Challenge

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The Rising Stars Challenge is an exhibition basketball game held by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on the Friday before the annual All-Star Game as part of the All-Star Weekend. The players are first- and second-year players selected by the NBA's assistant coaches. Two people designated as "general managers" draft players for the two opposing teams.


The Rookie Challenge, established in 1994, was originally competed by two randomly selected teams composed entirely of first-year players. This format was continued until 1996, when it was changed to pit rookie teams of both the Eastern and the Western Conference against each other. In 1999, the game was cancelled as a result of the NBA lockout. Since the 1998 rookie class did not compete that year, the game was revamped and featured a team of standout first-year players ('Rookies') against a team of standout second-year players ('Sophomores'). For 2012 and 2013, the format was changed to having two teams drafted by Basketball Hall of Famers Charles Barkley (Team Chuck) and Shaquille O'Neal (Team Shaq). In 2014, the two teams were drafted by Chris Webber (Team Webber) and Grant Hill (Team Hill). The format of the game and name was changed to the Rising Stars Challenge in 2012. The game format changed in 2015 to USA vs World, where each team should choose at least three Rookies and three Sophomores, and the squad of each team should have four back courts, four front courts and two swingmen.

Unlike regular NBA games, the game was divided into two twenty-minute halves, similar to college basketball. The participating players were chosen by voting among the league's assistant coaches. In the game, players wear their respective regular team uniforms, except for 2009, in which players wore fan-designed jerseys. The head coaches of the two teams are the lead assistant coaches of the NBA All-Star Game coach. Starting in 2009, two active NBA players were added to the game coaching staffs.

The game is currently sponsored by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). Before 2012, the event was known as the Rookie Challenge, officially named the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.

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2016 game

To celebrate the first time the NBA celebrates the All-Star game outside of the U.S.A., the game makes the World Team the home team instead of Team U.S.A.

Team USA won 157–154 in the highest scoring game in Rising Stars Challenge history. Zach LaVine was named MVP, leading all of the USA team with 30 points while also recording 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, and Devin Booker all scored over 20 points, with Russell also recording 7 assists. Kristaps Porziņģis and Emmanuel Mudiay led the way for Team World with 30 points each, with Andrew Wiggins also scoring 29 points.

2015 game

The World team won against the U.S. 121-112 at the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend. Canada's Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points, and Rudy Gobert added 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Brooklyn's Bojan Bogdanovic of Croatia, and Chicago's Nikola Mirotić of Montenegro added 16 points each for the World team. Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic and Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves led the U.S. team with 22 points each. Andrew Wiggins, the 2014 NBA Draft 1st overall pick, won the game's MVP award.

2012 game

Shortly before the draft for the rosters, Norris Cole and Jeremy Lin were added to the original player pool. A few days before the game, Tiago Splitter was injured and was replaced by Derrick Favors. Lin played only nine minutes in the game, at his request, due to exhaustion from his rise to stardom that month.

2007 game

The 2007 Rookie Challenge took place on Friday, February 16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Final Score: East:150 West: 167

2006 game

The 2006 Rookie Challenge took place February 17 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Rookie Roster:

Head Coach: Sidney Lowe
Assistant Coach: Elvin Hayes

Sophomore Roster:

Head Coach: Del Harris
Assistant Coach: Moses Malone

  • Did not play due to injury
  • 2005 game

    The 2005 Rookie Challenge took place February 18 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: PJ Carlesimo
    Assistant Coach: Alex English

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Bob McAdoo
    Assistant Coach: Doug Moe

  • Did not play due to injury
  • 2004 game

    The 2004 Rookie Challenge took place February 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: Doug Collins
    Assistant Coach: A.C. Green

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Michael Cooper
    Assistant Coach: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Said to be the most exciting Rookie Challenge in history due to all the highlight-reel dunks. Much of the hype centered on rookie phenoms LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who had 33 and 17 points respectively. Amar'e Stoudemire set a Rookie Challenge record with 36 points (it has since been broken).

    2003 game

    The 2003 Rookie Challenge took place February 8 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.
    This was the last time the game was played on a Saturday.

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: Cotton Fitzsimmons
    Assistant Coach: Lou Hudson

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Mike Fratello
    Assistant Coach: Bob Pettit

    2002 game

    The 2002 Rookie Challenge took place February 9 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia.

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: Chuck Daly
    Assistant Coach: Darryl Dawkins

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Billy Cunningham
    Assistant Coach: Bobby Jones

    2001 game

    The 2001 Rookie Challenge took place February 10 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C..

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: Kevin Loughery
    Assistant Coach: Jack Marin

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Elvin Hayes
    Assistant Coach: Phil Chenier

    2000 game

    The 2000 Rookie Challenge took place February 11 at the Oakland Arena in Oakland.

    Rookie Roster:

    Head Coach: Al Attles
    Assistant Coach: Nate Thurmond

    Sophomore Roster:

    Head Coach: Bill Russell
    Assistant Coach: KC Jones

    **Did not play due to injury

    1998 game

    The 1998 Rookie Challenge took place February 8 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

    East Roster:

    Head Coach: Willis Reed

    West Roster:

    Head Coach: Dave DeBusschere

    1997 game

    The 1997 Rookie Challenge took place February 8 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland.

    East Roster:

    Head Coach: Red Auerbach

    West Roster:

    Head Coach: Red Holzman

    **Did not play due to injury

    1996 game

    The 1996 Rookie Challenge took place February 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

    East Roster:

    Head Coach: Bob Lanier

    West Roster:

    Head Coach: Doug Moe

    1995 game

    The 1995 Rookie Challenge took place February 11 at the America West Arena in Phoenix.

    Green Team Roster:

    Head Coach: Al Attles

    White Team Roster:

    Head Coach: Cotton Fitzsimmons

    1994 game

    The 1994 Rookie Challenge took place February 12 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. MVP – Anfernee Hardaway

    Sensations Roster:

    Head Coach: KC Jones

    Phenoms Roster:

    Head Coach: Doug Collins

    Game records


  • Kevin Durant, 46 (2009)
  • Kenneth Faried, 40 (2013)
  • Russell Westbrook, 40 (2010)
  • Tim Hardaway, Jr., 36 (2014)
  • Amar'e Stoudemire, 36 (2004)
  • Jamal Murray, 36 (2017)
  • Kyrie Irving, 34 (2012)
  • Rebounds

  • Andre Drummond, 25 (2014)
  • DeJuan Blair, 23 (2010)
  • Elton Brand, 21 (2000)
  • DeJuan Blair, 15 (2011)
  • DeMarcus Cousins, 14 (2011)
  • Chris Bosh, 14 (2005)
  • Marcus Fizer, 14 (2002)
  • Quentin Richardson, 14 (2001)
  • Assists

  • John Wall, 22 (2011)
  • Chris Paul, 17 (2007)
  • Jordan Farmar, 12 (2008)
  • Jamal Murray, 11 (2017)
  • Chris Paul, 11 (2006)
  • Jamaal Tinsley, 11 (2003)
  • Mike Miller, 11 (2002)
  • Steve Francis, 11 (2000)
  • Damon Stoudamire, 11 (1996)
  • Khalid Reeves, 11 (1995)
  • Emmanuel Mudiay, 10 (2016)
  • Ricky Rubio, 10 (2013)
  • Isaiah Thomas, 10 (2013)
  • Kemba Walker, 10 (2012)
  • O.J. Mayo, 10 (2010)
  • Ronald Murray, 10 (2004)
  • Jamaal Tinsley, 10 (2002)
  • Steals

  • Chris Paul, 9 (2007)
  • Eddie Jones, 6 (1995)
  • Jason Richardson, 5 (2003)
  • Kenyon Martin, 5 (2002)
  • Blocks

  • Steven Adams, 4 (2014)
  • Brook Lopez, 3 (2009)
  • Dwight Howard, 3 (2005)
  • 3 Pointers

  • Daniel Gibson, 11 (2008)
  • Jamal Murray, 9 (2017)
  • Frank Kaminsky, 9 (2017)
  • Kyrie Irving, 8 (2012)
  • Shooting Percentage

  • David Lee, 100% (14–14) (2007)
  • References

    Rising Stars Challenge Wikipedia

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