Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Evan Mobley and guard Isaac Okoro have been selected as Rising Stars, the NBA announced tonight.
The 2022 Rising Stars will be played on Friday, February 18 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland as part of NBA All-Star 2022.
Mobley, the number three pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, is averaging 14.8 points on .505 shooting from the field, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.72 blocks (sixth-most in NBA) in 34.2 minutes over 43 games (all starts). The rookie center from USC is leading all NBA rookies in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, plus/minus (+136) and dunks (86) while ranking second in points, minutes and double-doubles (10) and sixth in assists. Mobley won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award for October and November and is currently one of only three players in the entire NBA averaging at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks (Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis).
In 2021-22, Okoro has appeared in 36 games (30 starts) with averages of 9.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per contest. The Auburn University product has scored in double figures in 14 games, including two 20-point performances, and his plus/minus of +92 is the sixth-best among all rookie and sophomore players.
This year’s Rising Stars will feature four seven-player teams competing in a mini-tournament consisting of three games. Mobley and Okoro will be part of a pool of 28 players for Rising Stars that consists of 12 first-year NBA players, 12 second-year NBA players and four elite young players from NBA G League Ignite, a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft. The combined 24 first- and second-year NBA players for Rising Stars were selected by NBA assistant coaches, with each of the league’s 30 teams submitting one ballot per coaching staff. The four NBA G League Ignite players were selected by NBA G League head coaches.
Each team will be coached by a member of the NBA 75 team and assistant coaches from the 2022 All-Star Game, who will draft their squads on an earlier date prior to the tournament. There will be one NBA G League Ignite player on each team. Each game will be played to a Final Target Score, meaning that a game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out. It will be a “Race to 75” to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season — Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches 50 points; Game 3 will be played until a team reaches 25 points.
In addition, a timed shooting competition called the Clutch Challenge will take place between Games 2 and 3 of Clorox Rising Stars. A total of eight NBA and NBA G League Ignite players will be divided into four teams of two and compete to make shots from five locations on the court tied to iconic shots made in the NBA Playoffs.
Each team will compete with one shared ball and its players must alternate shots so no player shoots two times consecutively. Team 1 is given 1 minute and 30 seconds (1:30 counting down) to make a shot from each of the five locations in any order. Team 1’s time is then the marker for Team 2. If Team 1’s time is 1:15, then Team 2 will have a 1:15 countdown clock to complete the competition. Each team that establishes a new standard sets the clock for the next team competing, and the fastest finisher will win the Clutch Challenge.