Nikola Mirotic Selected for Rising Stars Challenge

mirotic_1200_141008NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2015 – Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotić has been selected to play in the new-look BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2015.

The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent will debut a format that pits 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world. The game, set for Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be televised live by TNT at 9:00 p.m. ET, part of Turner Sports’ 30th year of All-Star coverage. BBVA Compass is the official bank of the NBA in the U.S. and maintains its role as title partner for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

This year’s edition showcases 10 of the top 15 picks from the 2013 NBA Draft  presented by State Farm, and all four participants in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk, which will be held during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center.

In his first season in the NBA, Mirotić is averaging 7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.64 bpg and 0.57 spg in 18.0 mpg.  Mirotić, who will suit up for the World Team, ranks first among all rookies in three-point field goal percentage, first in free-throw percentage, fourth in rebounds, fourth in blocks and fifth in scoring.  On the year, he has posted 20 games with 10 or more points, two games with 20 or more points and three double-doubles.  He claimed Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for the month of December, as he recorded 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg and shot .439 from the field.

Mirotić will be joined on the World Team by Andrew Wiggins (15.2 ppg) of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wiggins is one of two Canadians on the roster, along with the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk and the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, the third-leading shot-blocker in the NBA (2.18 bpg). The other World Team players are Sprite Slam Dunk entrant Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn Nets, Gorgui Dieng of the Timberwolves, Dante Exum of the Jazz and Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks.

The U.S. squad is comprised of last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.  Carter-Williams is joined on the U.S. Team by Sprite Slam Dunk competitors Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves, Victor Oladipo of the Magic and Mason Plumlee of the Nets. The rookie leader in assists (the Magic’s Elfrid Payton) and the rookie leader in rebounds, blocked shots and steals (the 76ers’ Nerlens Noel) were also selected for the U.S. Team, which is rounded out by Trey Burke of the Jazz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Detroit Pistons, Shabazz Muhammad  of the Timberwolves and Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets.

Both BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge rosters, chosen by the NBA’s assistant coaches, had to include four guards, four frontcourt players and two players at any position. The coaches also picked a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players for each team.

The head coaches for the 21st BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be assistants from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson will guide the World Team, and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry will lead the U.S. Team.

NBA All-Star 2015 will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. In addition to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, TNT will also air State Farm All-Star Saturday Night onSaturday, Feb. 14, at Barclays Center and the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden. Other events at Barclays Center include the NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire and the NBA Development League Dream Factory presented by Boost Mobile, both airing Sunday on NBA TV. Madison Square Garden will host Friday night’s ESPN-televised Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Below are the rosters for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and a list of previous results:

U.S. TEAM ROSTER

Player                                       Team             Pos.   Ht.    Wt.      School          Experience

Trey Burke                                Jazz                  G       6-1    185     Michigan             1

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope    Pistons             G       6-5    205     Georgia               1

Michael Carter-Williams        76ers                G       6-6    190     Syracuse             1

Zach LaVine                            Timberwolves  G      6-5    183     UCLA                 R

Shabazz Muhammad            Timberwolves   F     6-6    227     UCLA                 1
Nerlens Noel                             76ers                 C    6-11  220       Kentucky            R

Victor Oladipo                          Magic                G      6-4    210      Indiana               1

Elfrid Payton                            Magic                G      6-4    185      UL-Lafayette      R

Mason Plumlee                        Nets                   C      6-11  235      Duke                   1

Cody Zeller                               Hornets              F     7-0    240      Indiana                1

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry, Warriors

WORLD TEAM ROSTER

Player                                       Team        Pos.     Ht.       Wt.  School or Team/Country    Experince

Steven Adams                          Thunder     C        7-0       255    Pittsburgh/New Zealand          1

Giannis Antetokounmpo       Bucks        G/F     6-11     217   Filathlitikos/Greece                 1

Bojan Bogdanovic                  Nets           G/F     6-8       216   Fenerbahce Ulker/Croatia        R

Gorgui Dieng                             T’Wolves   C         6-11   233   Louisville/Senegal                   1

Dante Exum                             Jazz           G         6-6       190   Lake Ginninderra/Australia     R

Rudy Gobert                             Jazz           C         7-1       245   Cholet/France                           1

Nikola Mirotić                          Bulls          F         6-10     220   Real Madrid/Montenegro         R

Kelly Olynyk                            Celtics       C         7-0       238   Gonzaga/Canada                       1
Dennis Schroder                       Hawks       G         6-1      168   Phantoms Braunschweig/Germany    1
Andrew Wiggins                       T’Wolves   G/F      6-8    199     Kansas/Canada                          R

Head Coach: Kenny Atkinson, Hawks

BBVA COMPASS RISING STARS CHALLENGE RESULTS

1994 – Phenoms 74, Sensations 68                                 2005 – Sophomores 133, Rookies 106

1995 – White 83, Green 79 (OT)                                    2006 – Sophomores 106, Rookies 96

1996 – East 94, West 92                                                 2007 – Sophomores 155, Rookies 114

1997 – East 96, West 91                                                 2008 – Sophomores 136, Rookies 109

1998 – East 85, West 80                                                 2009 – Sophomores 122, Rookies 116

2000 – Rookies 92, Sophomores 83 (OT)                      2010 – Rookies 140, Sophomores 128

2001 – Sophomores 121, Rookies 113                           2011 – Rookies 148, Sophomores 140

2002 – Rookies 103, Sophomores 97                             2012 – Team Chuck 146, Team Shaq 133

2003 – Sophomores 132, Rookies 112                           2013 – Team Chuck 163, Team Shaq 135
2004 – Sophomores 142, Rookies 118                           2014 – Team Hill 142, Team Webber 136