Trae Young Leads U.S. Team in Rising Stars Game

Ben Ladner

Trae Young led the U.S. team to a win in the Rising Stars game Friday night. The 21-year-old scored 18 points and handed out a game-high seven assists in a 151-131 win over the World Team. 

The game, which featured 24 of the best young American and international players in the NBA, was fast-paced and high-scoring all night. Young started off the contest with five points and an assist in the first quarter, including a nutmeg of R.J. Barrett that led to a floater. 

R.J. Barrett of the New York Knicks led all scorers with 27 points for Team World, while Golden State's Eric Paschall had 23 off the bench for Team U.S. Team World grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over just 11 times, but it wasn't enough to overcome 67 percent shooting and 29 assists from the U.S. side, The United States made made a 27-5 push with its second unit to close the third quarter, which gave the team a 20-point edge for the quarter and rendered the fourth quarter mostly academic. 

In the middle of the third quarter, Young spoke with Jared Greenberg of TNT about his busy All-Star weekend and being voted into Sunday's game as a starter. 

"It meant a lot to me," Young said. "It shows I got a lot of respect from a lot of my peers, but the fans, that's the main thing. I'm just gonna try and do my part and be the best role model I can for the fans, and I really appreciate everybody voting me in." 

Young will also participate in the 3-Point Contest on Saturday night before playing in the All Star game on Sunday, making him the only player to appear on all three nights of the weekend. 

"I'm pacing myself," Young told Greenberg. "Drinking a lot of water, taking a lot of breaks, and just having fun."  

"It's very big not only for me, but for our team [the Hawks], coming out here, being able to represent our team in the best way I can," he said. "So it's going to be a long weekend, but a fun one."