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DeMarcus Cousins selected to play in 2012 Rising Stars Challenge

The Sacramento Kings big man has been chosen to participate in the annual rookie/sophomore game.

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has been selected to play in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

The sophomore big man, who participated in last year’s rookie/sophomore game, is currently averaging 15.3 points and 11.5 rebounds over 24 contests played this year.

Other second-year players selected are Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers) and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Kings guards Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas were not chosen among this year’s class of rookies.  Fredette is currently averaging 8.7 points and two assists in 22 minutes over 22 games played.  Thomas, meanwhile, has so far posted averages of seven points and 2.5 assists in 17 minutes over 24 games played.

The players selected over the two Kings rookies are Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

The annual game has traditionally pitted rookies against sophomores.  However this year, the two classes will be mixed together on two opposing teams.  TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley will manage both squads and draft nine-man rosters from the pool of players listed above.  The  BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft takes place next Thursday, Feb. 16 on NBA TV at 4 pm PST.

Jonathan Santiago is co-editor of Cowbell Kingdom. Follow him on Twitter.

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