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Irving, Thompson, Zeller and Waiters to participate in Rising Stars Challenge

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 30, 2013
Irving jump shot vs Warriors
Kyrie Irving will join teammates Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller in the Rising Stars Challenge as part of All-Star weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

INDEPENDENCE: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller will all be part of the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend, the NBA announced.

As of now, Irving is expected to play in the game for rookies and sophomores on Friday night while also playing in the real All-Star game on Sunday.

Irving is averaging 23.9 points and 5.5 assists and has a shot at starting Sunday's All-Star game. Thompson is averaging 11 points and 9.3 rebounds, but is averaging 14.2 points and 11.2 rebounds in his last 21 games -- one quarter of the season.

Irving won the MVP for Team Chuck last season, scoring 34 points and making all eight of his 3-point attempts. Thompson scored 20 points to lead Team Shaq. 

Waiters is averaging 14.5 points, second among rookies, while Zeller is ninth in scoring (8.6 points) and third in rebounds (6.2). 

Joining Irving and Thompson from the sophomore class are: Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).

Top overall pick Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets leads a rookie class that includes Waiters and Zeller, Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Harrison Barnes (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats) and Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves).

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