Alex Abrines named to Rising Stars Challenge

Enes Gulen. photo EFE

Alex Abrines has been selected as a participant in this year’s BVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 17 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA during NBA All-Star 2017. The rising stars challenge is a game for the NBA to show off their young, talented up and coming stars from the U.S and all over the world, who are either first or second year players in the league.

Abrines, drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2013 draft, is in his first NBA season with the Thunder this year after parting ways with his Barcelona team in Spain this past July.

Abrines was not originally selected as a participant in this All-Star weekend event. However, with Joel Embiid with the Philadelphia 76ers out with a knee injury, Alex was selected as a replacement for him.

The Spain native has been a quality role player for the Thunder since about December, shooting above 41 percent from three since then, and has shown some sneaky athletic ability around the rim as well.

Abrines is averaging 5.4 points to go along with 1.1 rebounds while shooting 37.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc (ranks 4th among rookies) in just 14 minutes per game for Oklahoma City.

Abrines, who was born in Palma, Spain, will play on Team World alongside Thunder’s Domantas Sabonis who is from Lithuania.

He and Sabonis became the first pair of rookie teammates named to the Rising Stars Challenge from a team with a winning record since 2009 (Portland Trail Blazers).

Abrines became the first Thunder rookie to make five 3-point field goals in a game (Dec. 21 at New Orleans) since James Harden accomplished the feat during the 2009-10 season.

During the Oklahoma City era, the Thunder has had eight players named to the Rising Stars Challenge which ranks tied for third most during this span. Of these teams, the Thunder is the only franchise with a winning record dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season.


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