The Sixers have a roster filled with players from all across the globe. Now some of those players will represent the world in one of the NBA’s top showcases.
Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric were all selected as participants for Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars. The trio will play for the World Team at the event set for All-Star weekend on Friday, Feb. 16, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (9 p.m./TNT).
“That definitely makes it better, especially when you have some teammates there,” Embiid said Wednesday of the three Sixers being named to the game. “I was hoping that Ben would have made the All-Star Game with me, but that’s unfortunate. But having them there, it’s going to be good.
“Dario, me, Ben is kind of like from overseas, too, so to have three guys from another country to be there representing the whole world against the U.S. is always good.”
Embiid, a native of Cameroon, was selected to the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars last season but sat out with a knee injury. He will likely take it easy in this year’s event after being tabbed as a starter in the All-Star Game.
Embiid is averaging 23.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 blocks this season.
The Australian-born Simmons was nearly named an All-Star in his rookie campaign but missed the cut. He is putting up 16.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.9 steals a night.
After struggling to find his role to start the season, Saric has come on strong. The Croatian is registering 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for the Sixers.
Saric took part in last year’s Rising Stars Challenge and is proud to again represent his country in the matchup.
“To represent the world, to represent my country, to have a flag of my country on my jersey, for me it means a lot,” Saric said. “Maybe I cannot bring tourists to visit to Croatia, but in some way I can represent my small, beautiful country.”