August 2018
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Ntilikina Selected for NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Knicks point guard will play in the rookie-sophomore exhibition game on Team World during All-Star Weekend.

New York Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina has been selected by the league to participate in the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge, to be held during All-Star Weekend.

Ntilikina will represent the Knicks and France as he plays for Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge’s relatively new format, implemented in 2015. Previously, the Knicks sent Porzingis to the exhibition last year as a sophomore (with then-rookie Willy Hernangómez) and as a rookie in 2016. On Tuesday, the NBA announced Porzingis was selected as a reserve in his first All-Star game.

In 45 games thus far, Frank has averaged 5.4 points, 3.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 20.7 minutes during his rookie campaign, per NBA Stats. The Knicks selected the Frenchman Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. At 19 years old, Frank has shown a strong sense on the defensive side of the game, boasting a long wingspan and recognition for opening passing lanes, tipping passes and making an impact as a rookie. On offense, Ntilikina is still discovering how he fits among his teammates in the league, although he has found the ability to create open shots for the Knicks, including a career-high 10-assist game versus Brooklyn.

Ntilikina joins teammates Porzingis, Hernangómez, and Hardaway Jr. (as a rookie in 2014) as previous participants of the Rising Stars Challenge for the Knicks. Michael Beasley and Trey Burke participated in the game for the Miami Heat and Utah Jazz, respectively.

Other participants of the 2018 exhibition match include fellow rookies Jayson Tatum, Lonzo Ball, Donovan Mitchell, and Dennis Smith Jr. for Team USA and Ben Simmons, Lauri Markkanen, Bogdan Bogdanovic for Team World.

See below for the full list of participants.

Managing Editor of The Knicks Wall. Still not over the ’94 Finals. Andy Bernard levels of Cornell love.

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