Thompson, Barnes selected to play in Rising Stars Challenge

Thompson, Barnes selected to play in Rising Stars Challenge
January 30, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Klay Thompson is averaging 16.5 points in his sophomore season, while Harrison Barnes has started the second most game of all rookies in the NBA. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge will include two Warriors, sophomore guard Klay Thompson and rookie forward Harrison Barnes, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenege will take place on Feb. 15 in Houston, the site of the NBA's All-Star Weekend.

Assistant coaches around the league vote on the participants and selected both Thompson and Barnes for the second Warriors rookie/sophomore tandem in team history. Stephen Curry and Anthony Morrow represented the team in 2010, with Curry returning to the game as a sophomore in 2011.

Thompson and Barnes will be representing the Warriors in Houston along with David Lee, who is Golden State's first All-Star Game representative since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.

While the game used to pit rookies vs. sophomores, the Rising Stars Challenge now features Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley serving as general managers and participating in a draft from the player pool that will take place on Feb. 7.

Thompson, the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 35.3 minutes in 45 games (all starts) in his second season with the Warriors, while shooting 39.0 percent from three-point range and 90.1 percent from the free throw line (tied for third in the NBA).

Barnes, the seventh overall selection of the 2012 NBA Draft, is averaging 8.9 points (seventh among rookies), 4.3 rebounds (tied for eighth), 1.5 assists and 25.2 minutes in 44 games (all starts), while shooting 43.2 percent from the field (10th) and 36.7 percent from three-point range (fourth).

Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this report