2023 NBA All-Star Game: Where each player went to college
The NBA season is already halfway over, which means the NBA All-Star Game is just around the corner. This weekend, the best of the best will compete in Salt Lake City, Utah, which includes the Rising Stars game, a three-point shootout and a dunk. competition, skill test, and the All-Star game itself.
There are several familiar faces that will play in Utah. Including Western Conference captain LeBron James and Eastern Conference captain Giannis Antetokounmpo. Some of the players making their first NBA All-Star Game appearances include Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, Minnesota Timberwolves guard. Anthony Edwards and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver named Fox and Edwards as All-Star replacements after they were not named to the team in the opening cycle.
“It’s nice,” Fox said last week about what it’s like to be an All-Star for the first time. “I think it should have already happened. I am very grateful.”
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This is where every NBA All-Star went to college or played before heading to the NBA.
High School: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
James is the only NBA All-Star to jump into the NBA right out of high school. Coming out of Akron, Ohio St. Vincent St. Mary, James was considered one of the most hyped NBA draft picks of all time. He has lived up to and surpassed the hype, and this is his 19th NBA All-Star appearance in his long career. Earlier this month, he broke the NBA scoring record previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
International: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaki Bucks), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Antetokounmpo is in his seventh NBA All-Star Game and is the captain of the Eastern team. The two-time NBA MVP puts the Bucks in contention for another championship and sits at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Doncic makes his fourth game after nearly a triple-double with an average of 33.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.1 assists. Jokic, another two-time NBA MVP, is playing in his fifth NBA All-Star Game and is averaging 24.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists.
New Mexico State: Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)
Siakam is making his second NBA All-Star Game and is having the best statistical season of his NBA career. The Raptors forward is averaging 25.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He was named as an All-Star replacement after failing to make the team during the first cycle. Siakam helped the Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Siakam was unranked in the 2013 hiring cycle and was enrolled in the state of New Mexico.
Davidson: Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Curry was a nine-time NBA All-Star but would not play the game in Utah due to injury. The defending NBA champions have struggled this season with Curry off the field several times this season due to injury. The Warriors are currently ranked 29th-29th, ninth in the Western Conference heading into the home stretch of the NBA season. It was reported this week that Curry would likely miss some time right after the All-Star break.
Murray State: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
The former Murray State star has become one of the best NBA players in his place. Morant made his second straight NBA All-Star Game appearance and was named Steph Curry’s starting replacement. Morant is averaging 27.5 points, 8.3 assists and 5.9 for the Grizzlies, who currently sit second in the Western Conference and are heading into the home stretch of the NBA season. The Grizzlies are looking to continue last season’s postseason run.
Weber State: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Lillard is making his seventh NBA All-Star appearance, and they all came in Blazers uniforms. He’s averaging 31.4 points, 7.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds for Portland, who could make the playoffs this season or the playoffs if the team gets hot in the second half of the season. Lillard missed time earlier this season with a leg injury. Portland hopes to make the playoffs like they do in 2020.
Gonzaga: Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
Sabonis proved to be the saving grace of kings. The three-time NBA All-Star is having one of the best seasons of his NBA career, averaging 18.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists. Sabonis leads the NBA in double-doubles and rebounds per game. The Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season and are currently third in the Western Conference standings. The Kings acquired Sabonis in a trade that brought Tyrese Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers.
Arizona: Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
Markkanen was seen as one of the centerpieces of the deal that moved Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He came to Utah and helped the Jazz get off to a great start to the season. Utah became the first team to score 10 wins this season, and the team has every chance to make a breakthrough in the play-n game. Markkanen is averaging 24.9 points and 8.6 rebounds and will start with the home team in Utah.
Cal: Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
Brown and his colleague Jason Tatum lead the Boston Celtics to first place in the Eastern Conference. Former star Cal is averaging 26.5 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Boston this season. The defending Eastern Conference champions are looking to return to the NBA Finals after losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games last summer. Brown and Tatum are the highest scoring duo in the NBA.
Fresno State: Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)
When George joined the Clippers in 2019, there was a lot of buzz around the organization that the team could win a championship. Various injuries sustained by him and his co-star Kawhi Leonard robbed them of their chances. George is an eight-time NBA All-Star from Fresno State, averaging 23.2 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
Iowa State: Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
Haliburton is thriving in Indiana a year before being traded to the Sacramento Kings. Halliburton earned his first NBA All-Star appearance this season, averaging 20 points, 10.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Out of Iowa, Halliburton was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. After spending a year and a half in Sacramento, Haliburton made a deal with Domantas Sabonis. Both of these players will share the floor on Sunday.
USC: DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
The Chicago Bulls have struggled and are out of the league this season ahead of the final stretch of the NBA season. DeRozan has had no issues this season in his second season with the Bulls. The former USC star is averaging 25.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds this season.
UCLA: Jrue Holiday (Milauke Bucks)
Holiday is averaging 19.5 points, 7.1 assists and 5.2 this season with the Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference. The former UCLA star has been the Bucks’ defensive anchor since he was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans. He helped the Bucks win the 2021 NBA Finals and makes his second appearance at the NBA All-Star Game.
Louisville: Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Traded from the Utah Jazz to the Cavaliers this offseason, Mitchell is having one of the best seasons of his NBA career, averaging 27.2 points, 4.9 assists and 4 rebounds this season. The former Louisville star is making his fourth appearance at the NBA All-Star Game, after wearing the Jazz uniform for the previous three.