The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge was another high scoring affair as we have become accustomed to. First-time GM Grant Hill’s team defeated Team Chris Weber 142-136. Sophomore center Andre Drummond put on a impressive show with 30 points and a Rising Stars record 25 rebounds to win MVP.
Andre had to sit out last year from participating in All-Star festivities due to injury. He said that spurred him to come out hot from the tip-off. “Missing the game last year was tough for me. I hated watching it”, says Drummond. “My mindset this year was to play with energy like I’ve been doing all year. I had my mindset to win MVP and I did it.” He also shared his thoughts on the design of the trophy, since he like Kenneth Faried last year mistakenly dropped it, “they need to make it one piece, not two pieces.”
The game also was highlighted by a one-on-one grudge match with New York Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. and sophomore guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters. Both traded buckets back-and-forth in the fourth quarter that brought the entire arena to their feet. Waiters hit 15 consecutive shots, while Hardaway hit 10 consecutive included some deep three-pointers. Hardaway finished with a game high 36 points, Waiters had 31 points to lead Team Hill.Hometown favorite Anthony Davis had a solid night with 16 points and a monster block on center Jonas Valanciunas. ROY frontrunner Michael Carter-Williams 17 points and nine assists. Damian Lillard competed in his first of five events during NBA All-Star Weekend.