Tha Sports Junkies 101

BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge

rising Keith Allison via flickr.com

NBA

Hernangomez will replace Emmanuel Mudiay in the Rising Stars Challenge.

New York Knicks center, Willy Hernangomez, will replace injured Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay on the World Team in the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

Hernangomez, a 22-year old from Spain, leads all rookies in field goal percentage (54.4%).  He is tied for second in rebounding (5.8 RPG) to go with 6.5 points in 15.3 minutes over 48 games.  In his last seven games, he has averaged 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.

Hernangomez played professionally in Spain for four seasons before signing with the Knicks in July 2016.

Hernangomez will replace Mudiay, whose game is a mixture between Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Tim Hardaway.  Mudiay is averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 44 games in his second NBA season.

Although many were excited to see Mudiay play in the Rising Stars Challenge, Hernangomez shows promise with his effort and energy he provides for the Knicks, when afforded the chance.  And, with Joakim Noah getting older, Hernangomez may have a chance to make his case for more playing time.

The Rising Star Challenge is a great showcase for young talent, NBA players supporting their peers, and hearing funny commentators during the game.  It also always has exciting and is filled with moments like Kyrie Irving breaking Brandon Knight’s ankles.

NBA fans around the globe may wonder the direction the NBA is going.  Especially since some of the greats are retiring or approaching retirement.  The Rising Stars Challenge is always fun and sometimes more competitive than the actual All-Star game itself, and is a chance to showcase the superstars of tomorrow.

Be sure to check out the Rising Stars Challenge this Friday, February 17th at 9pm on TNT.