Hield to replace Mitchell in Skills Challenge

BUDDY HIELD

Chavanno “Buddy” Hield is expected to pull double duty come All-Star Weekend.

The sophomore shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings will replace Donovan Mitchell in this year’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star Saturday night, February 17. The announcement came yesterday, after Mitchell was named the likely replacement for Orlando Magic high flyer, Aaron Gordon in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest later that evening.

Gordon will be sidelined with a reported hip injury.

“Buddy” now joins the likes of the Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, Philadelphia 76er’s big man Joel Embiid, the Boston Celtics’ Al Horford, Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls, Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks and Lou Williams from the Los Angels Clippers, who are all set to compete in the Skills Challenge.

Hield, will also represent The Bahamas once again in the Mountain Dew Kick Star Rising Stars game. The 6’4” Pinedale native will be featured on Team World February 16, when they take on Team USA. The Rising Stars game features the best of the up-and-coming rookies and sophomores in the league. The current World versus USA format was first introduced during the 2015 All-Star Weekend.

The 2016 sixth overall pick will team up with Embiid, Markkanen, Murray, Ben Simmons (76’ers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers), Dario Saric (76’ers), Sacramento Kings’ teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic, Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks) and Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies).

Team USA’s roster consists of Mitchell, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brand Ingram, Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kris Dunn, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Malcom Brogdon and the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins.

Hield nearly came away with the Most Valuable Player award during last year’s Rising Stars game. He finished with 28 points and six rebounds but his teammate, Murray, caught fire and finished with 36 points. Team World defeated Team USA 150-141.

Hield is currently averaging 12.5 points per game while shooting at 44.1 percent clip from the field and 43.2 percent from the three-point arch.

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