NBA Rookie-Sophomore Game 2012: DeMarcus Cousins Represents Bay Area

Feb. 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) during the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

DeMarcus Cousins is the lone Bay Area participant in NBA-All Star Weekend.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, also known as the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge, is one of the most exciting parts of NBA All-Star weekend, and will have a great cast of characters taking part, led by Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley.

The NBA changed up the format for the game this year by having TNT analysts O'Neal and Barkley select the teams in a live draft from a previously selected pool of talent.

Blake Griffin, the reigning Slam Dunk champion and Rookie of the Year, was picked first on Team Shaq as the only All-Star to participate in this year's contest. Team Shaq also features the Suns' Markieff Morris, rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, and second-year sparkplug Jeremy Lin, as well as Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, Greg Monroe, Landry Fields, Norris Cole, and Brandon Knight.

Team Chuck is highlighted by the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, the lone Bay Area participant in the All-Star weekend. His team includes the likes of John Wall and Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Loenard, Derrick Favors, Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins, MarShon Brooks, Paul George, and Gordon Heyward.

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. MT with coverage on the TNT network.

For more on All-Star weekend, head over to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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