Former Lehigh men’s basketball standout and current Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum has been on a tear in his third season in the NBA. And while he won’t get to compete in the actual NBA All-Star Game this year, he’ll still be a part of the festivities.
McCollum was named as one of the eight participants in the NBA Skills Challenge for the 2016 All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Canada. This will be his first invite to the All-Star weekend.
According to NBA’s official site, the eight players will “compete for the title in a two-round timed ‘obstacle course’ consisting of a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills.” The other seven players are DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Draymond Green, Jordan Clarkson, Isaiah Thomas and Patrick Beverley, the reigning champion of the competition.
The competition usually features young rising stars at the guard position such as McCollum, but this pool of players has changed that standard, allowing centers and power forwards to compete as well. Past winners of this competition, which began in 2003, include Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry.
This season, McCollum is 15th in the league in points per game (20.9) and eighth in 3-pointers made (116). He also averages 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.