The NBA announced that Rockets second-year forward Jabari Smith Jr. has been named to the Panini Rising Stars event. It will take place on Friday, Feb. 16 as part of NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis. Smith represented the Rockets as a rookie in last year’s Rising Stars event.
Smith has started all 41 of his games played this season while averaging 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. He joins Jalen Duren and Victor Wembanyama as the only first or second year players averaging at least 13.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg this season. [Smith Season Video Highlights]
Among sophomores this season, Smith ranks eighth in scoring, third in rebounding and third in total 3-pointers made. He is shooting 47.8% from the floor and 38.3% from 3-point range this season after shooting 40.8% as a rookie in 2022-23, including 30.7% from behind-the-arc.
Smith is the first player in NBA history to have reached his totals of points, rebounds, blocks and 3-pointers made through the first 120 games played of a career. He will be 20 years old for the duration of the season.
Panini Rising Stars will feature four seven-player teams competing in a mini-tournament consisting of three games. The player pool consists of 11 NBA rookies, 10 second-year NBA players and seven NBA G League players. The 21 NBA players, selected by NBA assistant coaches, will be drafted onto three seven-player teams. The seven NBA G League players, selected by the league office, will comprise the fourth team.
All three games in Panini Rising Stars will be played to a Final Target Score, meaning each game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out. The semifinal games will be played to a Final Target Score of 40. The championship game will be played to a Final Target Score of 25.
The Panini Rising Stars Draft will stream live on the NBA App on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. CT. For further information, please visit NBA.com.