Andrew Nicholson’s selection to Rising Stars Challenge a “Blessing”
The Magic already had one roster spot filled on the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge with the selection of Nik Vucevic to play for TEAM CHUCK. Now they have two spots to their credit as Andrew Nicholson was selected today to replace the injured Andre Drummond. Nicholson will play for TEAM SHAQ, meaning that Nicholson and Vucevic will get to face off against each other in the frontcourt.
Nicholson’s phone didn’t take long to start blowing up as the news quickly spread after one tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski that broke the news. Andrew typically doesn’t show much emotion to the media but with this news, he was open and honest.
“I’m very excited. It’s definitely a blessing and an opportunity to go out there and represent for the organization the best I can”, Nicholson responded when asked his reaction to his selection.
The Rising Stars Challenge, formerly the Rookie-Sophomore game, features the games best players that are in their first or second year.
“It’s been one of my goals throughout the whole year. And I know I’ve had a good group of guys around me to help me achieve that. I see this more as a team achievement”, citing the veterans of the team and how they’ve helped him establish himself and grow this year.
On facing off against Nik Vucevic on the opposite end it seems he won’t be shy in gunning for his teammate, “It will be pretty fun. We go up against each other in practice all the time so it will definitely be exciting to do that on a stage as big as that.” Coach Vaughn passed on the opportunity to give coaching advice to his pupils when they face off against each other, “I won’t be coaching that night.”
Though Nicholson had to break his All-Star break plans of staying home and heading to the beach, I think he may be OK with that. He quickly added that this is “1000 times better”.
The last time the Orlando Magic were represented in this game was in 2006 when Dwight Howard played for the Sophomores, when the game was also played in Houston.
Full rosters for TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ after the jump:
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA R
Kenneth Faried Denver F 6-8 228 Morehead State/USA 1
Brandon Knight Detroit G 6-3 189 Kentucky/USA 1
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio F 6-7 225 San Diego State/USA 1
Ricky Rubio Minnesota G 6-4 180 FC Barcelona/Spain 1
Alexey Shved Minnesota G 6-6 182 CSKA/Russia R
Isaiah Thomas Sacramento G 5-9 185 Washington/USA 1
Tristan Thompson Cleveland F 6-9 227 Texas/Canada 1
Nikola Vucevic Orlando C 7-0 240 USC/USA 1
Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA R
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA R
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte G-F 6-7 232 Kentucky/USA R
Kyrie Irving Cleveland G 6-3 191 Duke/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA R
Chandler Parsons Houston F 6-9 207 Florida/USA 1
Klay Thompson Golden State G 6-7 205 Washington State/USA 1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 215 Syracuse/USA R
Kemba Walker Charlotte G 6-1 185 Connecticut/USA 1
Tyler Zeller Cleveland F/C 7-0 250 North Carolina/USA R
Andrew Nicholson Orlando F 6-9 250 St. Bonaventure/Canada R