Buddy Hield deserves support for 1st NBA All-Star selection

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) drives around New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The Kings won 122-117. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

It’s an easy process.

Go online to NBA.com or simply google NBA All-Star 2019, find the Sacramento Kings and tick the box next to Buddy Hield.

Voters are allowed 10 selections per day and there are almost two weeks left before the January 21 deadline for casting votes. During his first two seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), first with the New Orleans Pelicans and then the Kings, on principle, he was not deserving of an All-Star berth. A rising star though, he factored as a selection on the foreign-born squad. The Rising Stars game is a pre-event. Last year, Hield was also a part of the Skills Challenge contest.

So, he is familiar with the All-Star atmosphere. This time though, he no doubt wants to be with the big boys, and he should.

The 26-year old shooting guard has come into his own this season and has the Kings in contention for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. On a team that has the veteran strong forward Zach Randolph and point guard whiz De’Aaron Fox, Hield is still, arguably the best player.

All-Star activities will take place February 16, 17, 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina and Hield is playing at an All-Star level. He could become the first Bahamian to become an All-Star in the NBA. Two seasons ago, his fellow Grand Bahamian, Jonquel Jones, a standout with the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WBNA), hit the milestone first.

The third year could very well be the charm for Hield. Bahamians should rally behind him and vote daily. If he doesn’t get the number to be selected outright by the fans, then hopefully he will be added by the West Coach.

Hield is having a breakthrough year.

In all categories he has improved. In particular, his deliveries from behind the arch have been commendable. Hield was the No. 6 selection in the NBA draft out of Oklahoma University three years ago and was noted for his three-point shooting. During the first two seasons in the NBA he didn’t really live up to his college reputation for the long ball.

This year though, he has found the groove and has become one of the most feared shooters in the NBA. He is averaging 20.5 points per game and his scoring is efficient, 47.5 percentage from the field in general and 44.1 when shooting 3s. He is incredibly active on both ends of the court and has become a true, authentic star.

The Kings have slipped a bit lately and at press time were in the 10th slot in the West standings. If Buddy can lead a surge to the All-Star break, his chances for a role on All-Star Saturday would be quite good, in the eyes of the West coaches, I submit.

Meanwhile, let’s vote for Buddy!

With his quality play and fine attitude, he has heightened the Bahamas Sports Brand.

Go Buddy!

•To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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