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Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist part of NBA's Rising Stars

January 30, 2013

(O-N-E file photos by Seth Mabry)

Two Charlotte Bobcats are heading to Houston to take part in the NBA's All-Star festivities next month.

Guard Kemba Walker and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were both announced as selections to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Wednesday.

The game, which features first- and second-year NBA players, will be televised nationally Feb. 15 on TNT at 9 p.m.

"We are very excited that both Kemba and Michael were selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge this year," said Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins in a statement released by the team on Wednesday. "It speaks volumes that two of our last three first-round draft selections have been recognized as elite players from their class for their on-court performance."

In his second NBA season, Walker is averaging 17.9 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game and has scored in double digits in 15-straight contests.

Walker, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, played in the Rising Stars Challenge last year for "Team Shaq," tallying 10 points, five rebounds and a team-high 10 assists.

"Team Chuck" beat "Team Shaq" in the 2011 Rising Stars Challenge, 146-133.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Kidd-Gilchrist is having a solid first season by averaging 9.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Kidd-Gilchrist's breakthrough performance this season came on Dec. 19, 2012 when he recorded a career-high 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns.

The rosters for the game will be drafted by current NBA assistant coaches to include a mix of rookie and sophomore players.

Below are a look at the players selected to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge:

Sophomores
Kemba Walker, Charlotte
Kenneth Faried, Denver
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
Brandon Knight, Detroit
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
Chandler Parsons, Houston
Klay Thompson, Golden State
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando

Rookies
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte
Anthony Davis, New Orleans
Harrison Barnes, Golden State
Bradley Beal, Washington
Andre Drummond, Detroit
Damian Lillard, Portland
Alexey Shved, Minnesota
Dion Waters, Cleveland
Tyler Zeller, Cleveland

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