Celtics Guard Marcus Smart Selected To NBA Rising Stars Challenge

Marcus Smart will receive his first taste of NBA All-Star Weekend next month.

The second-year Boston Celtics point guard was one of 20 players selected to participate in the 2016 Rising Stars Challenge, the NBA announced Wednesday.

Smart, a Texas native, will play for Team USA against Team World, which will include 2015 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins and 2015 Celtics draft pick Dwight Powell, who was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Rajon Rondo trade.

Injuries have limited Smart to just 25 games this season, but he’s been productive when he’s been on the court, averaging 9.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

The Celtics did not have a representative in the annual rookie-sophomore showcase last season — center Kelly Olynyk was selected but missed the game with an injury — but had two in 2014: Olynyk and forward Jared Sullinger.

Smart was one of several Boston players vying for inclusion in this season’s NBA All-Star festivities. Point guard Isaiah Thomas has a strong chance of earning a spot in the All-Star Game itself as an Eastern Conference reserve, and the Celtics earlier this week launched a campaign to get Olynyk into the Three-Point Contest.

The Rising Stars Challenge is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12 in Toronto.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart

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