5 former Cats headed to NBA All-star weekend



By Nick Jones | @Kernel_Nick

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Five former Cats are slated to participate in the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend in Houston.

The festivities are set to begin Friday with the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Brandon Knight will be featured in the game.

The two teams, made up of the league’s youngest stars, were drafted by the former NBA greats and current TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Davis and Knight will play for Team Chuck, and Kidd-Gilchrist will suit up for Team Shaq. Friday’s game is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. on TNT.

The NBA Developmental League will have a role in All-Star weekend with its seventh annual D-League All-Star game. Former Cat Terrence Jones has been selected to play in the game on the Prospects Team, one week after he was named as the D-League’s Player of the Week.

NBA TV will broadcast the D-League game on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Saturday night marks the start of the Skills Challenge, which features the NBA’s top point guards, including Knight as he attempts to become the first UK player to win the competition.

Knight will be competing in a field of six guards in the two-round event. At the conclusion of the skills challenge the court will be rearranged for the 3-point Shootout — the only event during All-Star weekend that does not involve any UK alumni.

Saturday night’s All-Star festivities will conclude with the main event, the Slam Dunk Contest. This year Eric Bledsoe will compete against five of the highest-flying athletes the NBA has to offer, including reigning Dunk Contest champion Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz.

Cats fans will want to tune in as Bledsoe attempts to become the first UK product to win the Slam Dunk Contest since Kenny “Sky” Walker was named champion in 1989. TNT begins its coverage of Saturday night’s festivities at 8:30 p.m.

The NBA All-Star Game will be played at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was originally selected to be a starter in the game for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

Because of a season-ending injury to his right knee, Rondo will be forced into a spectator’s role as he takes in the game at Toyota Center from the sidelines.

NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule – Including Former Cats

Friday, February 15

BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brandon Knight) 9 p.m. on TNT

Saturday, February 16

NBA D-League All-Star Game (Terrence Jones)
 3 p.m. on NBA TV

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge (Brandon Knight)
 8:30 p.m. on TNT

Sprint Slam Dunk Contest (Eric Bledsoe) 8:30 p.m. on TNT

Sunday, February 17

NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia (Rajon Rondo) 8 p.m. on TNT