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Thomas Bryant couldn't crack the stacked 2019 Rising Stars roster

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Thomas Bryant couldn't crack the stacked 2019 Rising Stars roster

In a game that will feature burgeoning stars in the NBA, one of the Wizards breakout stars did not make the cut.

The NBA announced the rosters for the Rising Stars Challenge and Thomas Bryant was not one of those selected.

It's not too surprising that the 6-11 Bryant did not make it onto the U.S. roster. When cross-comparing Bryant to those selected, he is going up against several former college All-Americans and guys that are well ingrained into their respective team's identity. Quite frankly the U.S. team is loaded and holds several future All-Stars on it. 

Taking nothing away from Bryant, he also worked himself into the Wizards culture. Bryant has started in 34 straight games for Washington after not playing in 10 of the team's first 15.

He quickly became the only option for the Wizards at the center position with Dwight Howard out indefinitely and Ian Mahinmi consistently dealing with injury. And at only 21-years-old, Bryant has been a workhorse. 

On the season Bryant is averaging 9.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in his sophomore year in the league. This was his final year to be selected in the Rising Stars competition.

Rookie Troy Brown Jr. was the only other regular contributor for the Wizards that was eligible to be selected to the roster. 

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Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited return of Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is getting closer, as he participated in a full practice on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury back on Dec. 16.

Hachimura, 21, had no limitations, per head coach Scott Brooks. He went through all of their drills and full-contact scrimmages.

"He did well. He went through everything. That's another good day," Brooks said.

The final hurdle for Hachimura at this point involves getting into game shape. His conditioning is not close to midseason form after missing seven weeks of games.

Brooks said Hachimura definitely will not return before the end of the team's current road trip, which ends on Tuesday in Milwaukee. After that, however, it could be a matter of days.

 

The Wizards will return to Washington after playing the Bucks for a six-game homestand. It seems likely he is back by the time it's over.

The ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hachimura has had a strong rookie season so far, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. The Wizards have gone 7-12 since he's been out.

Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga. He required a minor procedure and was away from the team for weeks before slowly working his way back to basketball activities and then participating in practices.

Saturday was a big step in his recovery and it now puts the finish line into focus.

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Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

When the Maryland Terps faced Indiana for the first time in Big Ten play this season in early January, one famous former Hoosiers player sat in the stands cheering his team on. Wizards center Thomas Bryant allowed NBC Sports Washington to follow him throughout the game, where he showed his trademark enthusiasm for his former team. 

"It feels great," he said when asked by NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes how it feels to be watching his alma mater. "It seems like yesterday I was just playing against Maryland myself."

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Unfortunately for Bryant, the Hoosiers lost that game. But they'll get another shot at the Terps on Sunday. 

But Bryant, who will have his own game to suit up for when the Wizards take on the Hawks, won't be there to cheer. But when he did have the chance - he was vocal. After all, he told Hughes, that's just the type of fan and teammate he is.

"No matter if I'm out there or not, I'm going to be on my brother's side," he said.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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