Domantas Sabonis selected to play in 2018 Rising Stars Challenge

Pacers second-year center Domantas Sabonis was invited to play in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend next month. The annual game, held on the Friday (Feb. 16) of All-Star Weekend, showcases the best young players in the NBA.

Sabonis, who is averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game this season, is one of five sophomores named to the World Team roster that will face the the U.S. Team.

“It’s an honor being part of that event again,” Sabonis said. “I’m just excited to go there and represent Indiana and be there with Vic. Just go out and have fun, and just enjoy.”

He played in the game during his rookie season, too. He had 10 points (5-of-8 shooting) and one rebound in 10 minutes off the bench. The World Team won in New Orleans, 150-141.

Most of the time, All-Star games are geared towards guards but not so much for the bigs. “I actually shot every time I caught it,” he said, smiling.

The rosters were selected by NBA assistant coaches with each team submitting one ballot.

Sabonis is the second Pacers player set to attend All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. Victor Oladipo, his teammate for the past two seasons, was named to his first All-Star game one day earlier.

“It’s just like when you realize you brother is going with you on a school field trip or something, you’re excited,” Oladipo said of Sabonis’ participation. “I’m looking forward to it.”

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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