Kentucky's presence in the NBA's All-Star weekend will be strong once again as the festivities get under way Friday in New Orleans.
The Wildcats will be represented by Anthony Davis, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, as well as six other UK alums in various additional events.
Davis and Wall will be making their fourth ASG appearances, while Cousins will be making his third. The game will tip off Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.
On Friday, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray and Karl-Anthony Towns will suit up in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. Booker and Towns will play for Team USA, while Lyles and Murray will represent the World Team.
All-Star Saturday will begin with the NBA D-League All-Star Game at 2:30 p.m. ET. Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress will participate in that game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game will be televised by NBA TV.
Four of the eight participants in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge will be former Cats. Booker, Cousins, Davis and Wall will seek to give UK two straight titles in the event after Towns won last year. The Skills Challenge will air at 8 p.m. ET on TNT from the Smoothie King Center.
ALL-STAR WEEKEND BIOS:
· Booker – Earlier this season became the youngest player in NBA history with three games of at least 39 points and the youngest player to post back-to-back games of 39 points or more
· Cousins – In late November, posted four straight games with at least 30 points, marking the longest streak by a Kings players since Chris Webber in 2001. Also one of four players (Davis and Towns being two of the others) with a 45-point, 15-rebound game this season
· Davis – Ranked seventh in the league in player efficiency rating and began the NBA season by becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1986-87 to begin the first two games of the years with at least 90 points
· Johnson – Was named NBA D-League Player of the Month for the month of November and leads his team with 11 double-doubles
· Lyles – Has scored in double figures in 18 games this season
· Murray – Has scored in double figures in eight of the last 11 games
· Poythress – Leads the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in scoring and rebounding to go along with nine double-doubles
· Towns – The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year is third in the league with 42 double-doubles, highlighted by a 47-point, 18-rebound game in November vs. the Knicks
· Wall – Was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December and currently leads all Eastern Conference guards in assists, steals and double-doubles (trails only triple-double machines Russell Westbrook and James Harden among all guards in double-doubles)
ALL-STAR WEEKEND EVENTS:
Friday, Feb. 17
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (9 p.m. ET | TNT) – Booker, Lyles, Murray, Towns
Saturday, Feb. 18
NBA D-League All-Star Game (2:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV) – Johnson, Poythress
Taco Bell Skills Challenge (8 p.m. ET | TNT) – Booker, Cousins, Davis, Wall
Sunday, Feb. 19
NBA All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET | TNT) – Cousins, Davis, Wall