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15 international players from 12 countries will be at All-Star Weekend

15 international players from 12 countries will be at All-Star Weekend

The following is a press release from the NBA:

CLEVELAND – Fifteen international players from 12 countries, including six international All-Stars and a record-tying four international All-Star Game starters, will participate in NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland from Friday, Feb. 18 – Sunday, Feb. 20.  NBA All-Star 2022 will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in a record 60 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Below are international highlights of this year’s global celebration of basketball:

INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS

  • The 71st NBA All-Star Game, which tips off on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, will feature six international All-Stars and a record-tying four international starters.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria) and Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets; Serbia) will start for Team LeBron, while Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon) and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors; Canada) will start for Team Durant.  They are joined by Team LeBron reserve Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia) and Team Durant reserve Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz; France).
  • Clorox Rising Stars, which will take place on Friday, Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT, will feature a new format of four seven-player teams competing in a three-game mini-tournament, with each game played to a Final Target Score.  The pool of 28 players includes six international players: Precious Achiuwa (Toronto Raptors; Nigeria), Chris Duarte (Indiana Pacers; Dominican Republic), Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder; Australia), Alperen Şengün (Houston Rockets; Turkey), Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic; Germany) and Dyson Daniels (NBA G League Ignite; Australia).
  • With their participation in Clorox Rising Stars, Giddey and Daniels, who were teammates at NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, from 2019-2020, become the first NBA Academy alumni to participate in NBA All-Star.
  • The Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, which is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday night on Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, will also feature a new format in which three teams of three players will participate in a four-round competition that tests shooting, passing and dribbling ability.  One of the teams is composed of three Antetokounmpo brothers: Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria) and Alex Antetokounmpo (NBA G League’s Raptors 905; Greece; ties to Nigeria).
  • Eight players competing at NBA All-Star 2022 are from or have ties to Africa: Achiuwa, the three Antetokounmpo brothers, Desmond Bane (Memphis Grizzlies; ties to Nigeria), Ayo Dosunmu (Chicago Bulls; ties to Nigeria), Embiid and Isaac Okoro (Cleveland Cavaliers; ties to Nigeria).
  • New this year, the NBA G League’s top young players, including G League Ignite’s Daniels and Fanbo Zeng (China), will be on display in the inaugural NBA G League Next Gem Game, which will feature G League Ignite taking on the Cleveland Charge on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. ET on NBA TV, NBA TV International, and in China on Tencent and MIGU.

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

  • A total of 72 international broadcast partners will televise NBA All-Star 2022.  Six international television and radio networks – from France, Greece, Latin America, Mongolia, Poland and Spain – will conduct live onsite commentary from Cleveland, and three television networks – from India, Netherlands and Norway – will broadcast NBA All-Star remotely for the first time.
  • Fans outside North America will also be able to watch Clorox Rising Stars, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game live and on-demand through NBA League Pass via watch.NBA.com and the NBA App.
  • Fans around the world will be able to vote for the MVPs of the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, Clorox Rising Stars and the NBA All-Star Game via NBA.com, the NBA App and Twitter.
  • On Sunday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET, fans around the world can watch a livestream of All-Star Game players and coaches conducting media availabilities at mediaavail.nba.com.

CELEBRITIES & INFLUENCERS

  • The Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which tips off on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, will feature Puerto Rican rapper and singer Anuel AA; Indian American singer/songwriter Anjali Ranadivé; Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh; 2020 Olympic high jump gold medalist Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy; and Cleveland Cavaliers Legend and Brazil native Anderson Varejão.
  • Singh, who in September was named the NBA Brand Ambassador for India, will be one of more than two dozen influencers attending NBA All-Star 2022, where he will post behind-the-scenes social media content and have the opportunity to meet NBA players and legends.  Singh will also become the second Bollywood star to play in the Celebrity Game.
  • Singh headlines a group of international influencers from Argentina, France, India, Japan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and the UK who will experience NBA All-Star 2022 in person, receiving exclusive access to the weekend’s events and creating All-Star-themed content for fans in their home markets.

ALL-STAR CELEBRATIONS ABROAD

In addition to the events in Cleveland, fans around the world will be able to share in the excitement of NBA All-Star 2022 through a variety of international activations and programming:

  • In Canada, the “NBA 75th Shop,” a digital retail experience that pays tribute to the players and moments that have shaped the growth of basketball across the country, features a figurine depicting eight-time All-Star and Raptors Legend Vince Carter at the 2000 Slam Dunk contest and an “ice block” commemorating the 2016 Slam Dunk contest in Toronto, the first NBA All-Star held outside the U.S.
  • On Feb. 18, Mexican artist Alee Baes is launching exclusive All-Star-themed merchandise and giving away 16 special-edition Wilson basketballs in collaboration with the NBA at the league’s official retail location in Mexico, NBA Tienda in Polanco.  The collection will also be available at nbatienda.com, the league’s official online destination in the country.  In addition, Cavaliers Legend Anderson Varejão is filming a number of content pieces while on site in Cleveland that will be shared on the NBA’s social media platforms in his native Brazil.
  • From Feb. 7-21, Cosmote Sport, the league’s broadcast partner in Greece, is running a 24/7 NBA pop-up channel featuring live NBA All-Star events, original programming, classic games, highlights and more.  Eleven Sport and beIN SPORTS, the league’s broadcast partners in Belgium and France, respectively, are hosting competitions in which winners will attend All-Star 2022.  In addition, the NBA Fan Clubs in Greece and Spain are organizing NBA All-Star sweepstakes and quizzes featuring merchandise giveaways and special prizes.
  • The league’s social media platforms in Australia, Japan and the Philippines will produce All-Star-themed programming to promote the weekend’s events.  The Dime, a recap show on the NBA’s Facebook page in Australia, will feature Australian Rising Stars participants Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels.  NBA Zoom-In, a show on the NBA’s TikTok channel in Japan hosted by Japanese influencer Rikuto, will preview and recap highlights from the weekend.  Republika Huddle, the league’s social media talk show in the Philippines, will revisit previous editions of NBA All-Star and provide predictions for this year’s marquee events.
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