Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday and compete in the Skills Challenge on Saturday at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
In a fairly surprising development, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (I mean, who else?) reported Thursday afternoon that Giannis Antetokounmpo would take part in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend on Saturday, Feb. 15 in New Orleans. The rookie was already selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.
Giannis will be the first Buck since Brandon Jennings in 2010 to participate in the Skills Challenge, which puts players through an obstacle course, or sorts, involving – believe it or not, skills – like passing, shooting and dribbling. While Antetokounmpo has certainly displayed an all-around game honed beyond his years this season, it’s a rarity for a player of his size to be in the competition. Since it began in 2003, the only non-guard to take part was LeBron James.
The entire Skills Challege field has not been announced, though defending champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers is expected to participate. The second-year guard will also play in the Rising Stars Challenge and the All-Star Game, in addition to competing in the Slam Dunk Contest. Lillard, who ranks third in the NBA in three-pointers made, has also expressed interest in the Three-Point Shootout.
Antetokounmpo will be Milwaukee’s lone representative in the Big Easy, as teammate John Henson failed to make the Rising Stars Challenge roster.