Player grades: Jalen Williams hits game-winner in 2024 Rising Stars challenge

INDIANAPOLIS — Crossing the ball between his legs, Jalen Williams pulled up for the deep 3-pointer to clinch the Rising Stars win for Jalen Rose.

The game-clinching basket capped off an impressive two-game outing for Williams and Chet Holmgren. All three 2024 Rising Stars challenge matchups featured an Oklahoma City Thunder player.

“We were up a good amount of points to where if I missed, it didn’t matter,” Williams said on his game-winner. “… I fake ran a stack play so they can go under and I can shoot a three. I don’t know if the team knows that’s what I had intended but that’s what I was gonna do.”

Jalen Rose’s squad advanced to the finals following a tight 40-35 win over Tamika Catchings’ team in the semifinals. Williams had two points, three assists and three rebounds. Holmgren had five points on 2-of-4 shooting, three rebounds and one assist.

Meanwhile, Pau Gasol’s squad suffered a 41-36 loss in the semifinals to Detlef Schrempf’s roster. Cason Wallace contributed with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting and one assist.

Rose came out victorious in the finals over Schrempf, 26-13. Williams had five points on 2-of-3 shooting, three assists and two rebounds. He shot 1-of-2 from 3. Holmgren had two points, two rebounds, one block and one steal.

Let’s look at the Rising Stars challenge grades for the Thunder’s three players.

Jalen Williams: A-plus

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Williams looked fantastic over both contests. He totaled seven points, six assists and five rebounds over his two games.

The game-winner in the finals was the moment of the night as he decided to end the contest himself after playing within the flow of the offense for most of the contests.

Williams showed off against the best and brightest players in the league as the second-year sophomore has blossomed into one of the best young wings in the league.

Chet Holmgren: B

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Holmgren played within the flow of the offense as he totaled seven points on 2-of-4 shooting, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.

He showed off in the semifinal matchup with a highlight windmill dunk he broke out mid-game.

The 21-year-old had the chance to play against some of the best young players around the league after missing all of last season with a Lisfranc injury.

Cason Wallace: A-minus

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even though his team was upset in the semifinals, Wallace was extremely aggressive in finding his shot for Detlef’s squad.

In 10 minutes off the bench, Wallace had eight points on 3-of-8 shooting and one assist. He shot 2-of-6 from 3. The eight-shot attempts led his team.

The 20-year-old rookie had a critical foul on Mac McClung that saw him go 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. It was a nice showing for Wallace after playing a vital role for the Thunder so far this season.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire