Representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denver Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay exploded for 30 points and 10 assists in a loss to the United States team at the recent National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend Rising Stars challenge in Toronto, Canada.
For those who don’t know, the Rising Stars challenge is a game that showcases the NBA’s future all-stars. The game has left behind the old method of splitting up the teams. Instead of rookies vs. second-year players, the teams are split up by geography. Team World features young international talent, while Team USA features Americans.
The 19-year-old Mudiay truly embodies Team World as he’s a bit of a world traveler. Born in the DR
Congo, Emmanuel was raised in the United States and played one year of professional basketball in China for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Now, he’s back in the USA playing basketball at the highest level, the NBA.
Mudiay’s 30 points tied with American Zach Lavine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Latvian big man Kristaps Porziņģis of the New York Knicks for the game high. The final score was 157-154 in favor of Team USA. Lavine earned the game MVP title but it was a close battle for it.
Among the rookie class, the 6’5″ (1.96 meters) Mudiay ranks first in assists per game with 5.9 and fifth in points per game with 11.4. He missed some time due to an ankle injury in December, but has rebounded by averaging 12.7 points in January and now 7 assists per game in February.
Emmanuel is one of the NBA’s brightest young stars and he was able to show that in the Rising Stars challenge. He will take the floor again on Friday, February 19th, when the Nuggets play the Sacramento Kings in California.
This blog post was written by VOA Intern Rick Narcisse.