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Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin named MVP of 2024 Panini Rising Stars game

Dubbed as the hometown hero, Indiana Pacers forward Bennedict Mathurin took home MVP honors for the 2024 Panini Rising Stars game on Friday, February 16, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mathurin scored a game high 18 points and led Team Jalen over Mac McClung and Team Detlef in the title game.

According to the NBA, Team Jalen was named for honorary coach Jalen Rose, but it was another Jalen. Oklahoma City Thunder’s Jalen Williams who put the finishing touches on a dominant, 26-13 victory over Team Detlef in the final of the Panini Rising Stars at All-Star 2024.

Following a three pointer by Pelicans rookie Jordan Hawkins bringing his team within two points of the target score of 25, Williams nailed the game-winner from a few feet beyond the arc, added the NBA. Team Detlef, made up of a strong roster of G League players, jumped out to a 4-2 start, but Team Jalen bounced back with a huge run. The team exploded for a 13-point victory with well balanced scoring.

Final Score: -Semifinal 1: Team Jalen 40, Team Tamika 35 -Semifinal 2: Team Detlef 41, Team Pau 36 -Final: Team Jalen 26, Team Detlef 13

The Rising Stars Format:

The NBA said the annual showcase displayed premier young talent and featured a mini-tournament with four teams and three games. The player pool consisted of 11 NBA rookies, 10 second-year NBA players and seven NBA G League players.

The 21 NBA players, selected by NBA assistant coaches, was drafted onto three seven-player teams. The seven NBA G League players, was selected by the league office and comprise the fourth team.

Six-time NBA All-Star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Pau Gasol returned as one of the four honorary head coaches after leading his team to the Rising Stars championship last year. Joining Gasol as honorary head coaches are Indiana Fever legend and 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings and former Indiana Pacers standouts Jalen Rose and Detlef Schrempf.

All three games in the Panini Rising Stars wereplayed to a Final Target Score, meaning each game ended with a made basket or a made free throw instead of the clock running out. The semifinal games was played to a Final Target Score of 40. The championship game was played to a Final Target Score of 25.

Team A faced Team B in the first semifinal (Game 1), and Team C played Team D in the second semifinal (Game 2). The winner of Game 1 played the winner of Game 2 in the championship (Game 3).

Below are the rosters for the 2024 Panini Rising Stars.

Team Pau: Victor Wembanyama (Rookie, San Antonio Spurs) Brandon Miller (Rookie, Charlotte Hornets) Brandin Podziemski (Rookie, Golden State Warriors) Jaime Jaquez. Jr. (Rookie, Miami Heat) Jabari Smith Jr. (Sophomore, Houston Rockets) Cason Wallace (Rookie, Oklahoma City Thunder) Bilal Coulibaly (Rookie, Washington Wizards)

Team Fever: Paolo Banchero (Sophomore, Orlando Magic) Jaden Ivey (Sophomore, Detroit Pistons) Jalen Duren (Sophomore, Detroit Pistons) Keegan Murray (Sophomore, Sacramento Kings) Scoot Henderson (Rookie, Portland Trail Blazers) Keyonte George (Rookie, Utah Jazz) Dyson Daniels (Sophomore, New Orleans Pelicans) Vince Williams Jr. (Sophomore, Memphis Grizzlies)

Team Jalen: Chet Holmgren (Rookie, Oklahoma City Thunder) Jalen Williams (Sophomore, Oklahoma City Thunder) Bennedict Mathurin (Sophomore, Indiana Pacers) Shaedon Sharpe (Sophomore, Portland Trail Blazers) *Dereck Lively II (Rookie, Dallas Mavericks) Jordan Hawkins (Rookie, New Orleans Pelicans) Walker Kessler (Sophomore, Utah Jazz) Jeremy Sochan (Sophomore, San Antonio Spurs) Izan Almansa (G League Ignite) Emoni Bates (Cleveland Charge) Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite) Ron Holland (G League Ignite)* Mac McClung (Osceola Magic) Tyler Smith (G League Ignite) Oscar Tshiebwe (Indiana Mad Ants) Alondes Williams (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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