Wendell Carter, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett Chosen for Rising Stars Game
Three former Blue Devils were named to the NBA Rising Stars Game to be held All-Star Weekend in mid-February.
Second year player Wendell Carter Jr. was chosen for the U.S. Team. The Chicago Bulls big man is averaging 11.7 ppg, up from 10/3 last season. He’s also pulling down 9.9 rebounds, up from 7.0 as a rookie, and he’s improved his shooting from .485 to .537.
Carter is battling an injured ankle, suffered Jan. 6. His recovery is expected to take four-to-six weeks, so he will sit out the game.
His spot on the U.S. Team’s active roster will be taken by another former Blue Devil, rookie Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans’ big man has played in just four games since making his NBA debut earlier this month, following recovery from a knee injury.
Williamson’s teammate with the Blue Devils last year, RJ Barrett, was chosen for the World Team. The Canadian native is averaging 14.1 ppg as a Knicks rookie. He also has 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
The trio brings the total number of Duke players chosen for the game to 18, starting with Elton Brand in 2000 and 2001. Those players have combined for 26 selections—players are eligible for the game their first two years in the NBA. Duke has had at least one former player in the game for the last eight years and has had multiple players in the game for the last seven.
Two former Blue Devils who were in last year’s Rising Stars Game are going to be participating in the NBA All Star Game. Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram were both chosen as reserves. They bring the total number of Duke All Stars to 10, who have combined for 24 selections.