Faried shines in Rising Stars Challenge

AFP-JIJI

Denver Nuggets second-year forward Kenneth Faried had 40 points Friday as Team Chuck routed Team Shaq 163-135 in the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge game.

Faried also had 10 rebounds and shot 18-for-22 from the field to collect MVP honors and kick off All-Star Weekend festivities at the Toyota Center.

Faried finished off a couple of windmill dunks in the final minute that he said was a taste of what people can expect from him in Saturday’s Slam Dunk Contest.

“I had fun. I enjoyed myself,” Faried said. “This was just a sneak preview. There is going to be a lot of competition tomorrow, but I think I can rise up and get the trophy.”

With the exception of Ricky Rubio, every player reached double figures in scoring for the winning team, put together by former NBA star Charles Barkley.

Tristan Thompson and Kawhi Leonard each scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas finished with 18 points with 10 assists.

For the second straight year, the squad chosen by former Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal was not up to the task in the contest, which features the league’s top rookies and sophomore players.

Friday’s Risings Stars game was preceded by the light-hearted celebrity game which saw the James Harden-coached West team defeat Russell Westbrook’s East squad 58-38.

Five voted into Hall

HOUSTON AFP-
JIJI

Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt, a three-time Olympic scoring champion and 1980s Italian League star, was among five people announced Friday as 2013 inductees to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The announcement of five selections by special committees and 12 finalists for general induction to the sporting shrine came at the start of NBA All-Star Game festivities ahead of Sunday’s showdown of elite superstars.

Schmidt, Russ Granik, Roger Brown, Richard Guerin and Edwin Henderson will be among those inducted in September at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Other inductees will be announced on April 8.

Schmidt, elected by the international committee, averaged 42.3 points a game at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He was named one of FIBA’s 50 greatest players in 1991 and entered the global sport governing body’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Granik, named in the contributor category, spent 30 years with the NBA starting as a staff lawyer in 1976 and entering as deputy commissioner. He played a major role in growing the league globally and sorting out details of having NBA players compete in the Olympics starting in 1992 at Barcelona.

Brown, nicknamed “The Rajah”, was a 1970s star with the Indiana Pacers in the American Basketball Association. Brown, who once hit 21 shots in a row from the field, died of cancer in 1996.

Henderson was a U.S. pioneer of the sport who learned the game at Harvard University in 1904 and brought the sport to inner-city youth in Washington and New York a century ago.

Guerin spent 13 seasons in the NBA, six times earning All-Star honors, and was 1968 NBA Coach of the Year for the St. Louis Hawks.

Yao named dunk judge

HOUSTON AFP-
JIJI

Yao Ming will return to the city of some of his greatest basketball triumphs when he serves as a judge for the 2013 All-Star Game’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Yao joins four other Houston Rockets’ legends, Clyde Drexler, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon and Rudy Tomjanovich, to judge the competition.