Denver Nugget rookie and native Canadian, Jamal Murray won the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge MVP Award. Murray led the World Team to victory with 36 points, 27 in the second half, and 11 assists. He also came within two three pointers of tying the ‘Rising Stars’ record with 9 tres. (Daniel Gibson set the record with 11 in 2008)
The best player in the first half was a fellow 2016 First Round pick, Buddy Hield. Buddy was who also the subject of an article in the December 2016 issue of Sports Spectrum where he let us know that he reads Psalms to stay calm:
“Psalm 23 is the one I always read, the main one before my games,” says Hield, who was drafted XX in the NBA draft on June 23. “My mom always told me to read that when I was nervous or before a big game.
“ I also like Psalm 91, 27, 35, and 37. I read them before every game. I’m trying to get my mind right. It isn’t a burden to be in the Final Four, it’s a blessing. I always want to remember that.”
Hield ended the night with 28 points after starting off hot. He was only 3-12 from three, grabbing 6 boards and snatching 3 steals.
Drafted back to back in the 2016 NBA Draft, Murray and Hield are also favorites (along with second round pick Malcolm Brogdon and number two overall pick Brandon Ingram), to win the 2016-17 Rookie of the year award.
With the first half of the season coming to a close and the second half starting on Tuesday, these two rookies just gave NBA fans a glimpse of what is to come for the remainder of the year.