Heat’s Jaquez selected for All-Star’s Rising Stars

MIAMI — Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. was announced Tuesday as a selection for the NBA’s Rising Stars event on Feb. 16 at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis.

Jaquez, drafted No. 18 out of UCLA in June, becomes the first Heat player selected for the event since Precious Achiuwa and Tyler Herro in 2021, when the event was not held due to the pandemic but the rosters of first- and second-year players still were selected. The most recent Heat player to participate in the event was Kendrick Nunn in 2020.

Jaquez also has indicated he will participate in the dunk contest during All-Star Saturday.

The Heat did not have a player selected through the fan-media-player balloting as a starter for the Feb. 18 All-Star Game, with center Bam Adebayo the most likely Heat candidate for an All-Star berth when reserves, selected by conference coaches, are announced Thursday.

As for Jaquez, the Rising Stars event this year will be played as a mini-tournament of teams to be drafted next week.

In addition to the traditional inclusion of first- and second-year players, the player pool also includes prospects from the G League. Among those prospects selected is Heat training-camp prospect Alondes Williams, who currently is playing for the Heat affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce. Williams and Heat two-way player Cole Swider also were selected to play in the G League All-Star Game during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.

Overall, Jaquez become the 11th Heat player selected for the Rising Stars, joining Herro (2021, ’20), Achiuwa (2021), Nunn (2020), Norris Cole (2012), Michael Beasley (2009, ’10), Dwyane Wade (2004, ’05), Udonis Haslem (2004, ’05), Caron Butler (2003), Kurt Thomas (1996) and Khalid Reeves (1995).

Among rookie leaders, Jaquez this season ranks first in steals per game, second in free-throw percentage, third minutes per game, fourth in scoring average and field goals made, fifth in free throws made, sixth in field-goal percentage and seventh in assists per game.

He was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November and December.

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