Although there are no former Big Ten players in the NBA All-Star game, it has still been a successful weekend for the Big Ten. Participation ranged from the Rising Stars Challenge, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and the D-League All-Star Game.
NBA All-Star Weekend
As mentioned in a previous article, the Big Ten had three representatives in the Rising Stars Challenge: former Michigan point guard Trey Burke and former Indiana Hoosiers Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. The game, similar to the All-Star game, is played with minimal defense and littered with highlights.
Oladipo had one of the earlier highlights with this impressive and-one finish:
Trey Burke had one of the more embarrassing highlights of the game, with a lob intended for...someone?:
In the end, the USA fell to the World team 121 to 112. Oladipo tied the USA team with Zach LaVine (more on these two later) with 22 points for the game. Zeller and Burke had solid performances as well, save for the Burke highlight above.
Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke was one of the participants in tournament style skills challenge. He lost in the first round to Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Knight.
Slam Dunk Contest:
Skip to :19 for Oladipo's first dunk:
Orlando's Victor Oladipo first dunk was one of the most impressive dunks of the night. He started off by showing off his signing skills before completing his third attempt at a 540 reverse slam. This dunk helped catapult Oladipo into the finals against Minnesota's Zach LaVine.
Unfortunately in the final, Oladipo missed the first three attempts on his first dunk attempt. His second attempt was impressive, but not quite as great as his 540 slam:
Oladipo was impressive in the dunk contest and had he made his first dunk of the finals, he could have won most years. However, LaVine's performance was one of the greatest displays of all time, rivaling Vince Carter in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. Check them out below:
With no former Big Ten players in the NBA All-Star game today, Big Ten fans kept their eyes focused on the D-League All-Star game, which was played this afternoon. Former Penn State guard Tim Frazier started the game for the East. He was effective throughout his 19 minutes, not missing a shot and getting a double-double as well, finishing the game with 10 assists. He helped the Eastern Conference Futures team win convincingly 129-94. Frazier was knocking down shots and getting assists in a variety of ways:
It was a successful weekend for the Big Ten. Next year, the Big Ten should hopefully have at least one All-Star, Mike Conley, in the near future. He is one of the best point guards in the NBA and deserves to be mentioned among the elite guards. Frazier was impressive and could get an opportunity with an NBA team down the line. Having many of the league's younger players from the Big Ten bodes well for the future of the conference's alumni.