Splitter, Leonard representing Spurs in Rising Stars Challenge


Tiago SplitterSeveral San Antonio Spurs players have represented the Spurs in the annual Rookie-Sophomore game during All-Star Weekend, including DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal last year.

This year’s game will take an interesting twist as teams will be mixed and two GMs (Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal) will pick from a pool of players announced today.

Among those players are Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter.

Joining Griffin from the Sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Irving and Rubio are joined by fellow first-year players MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Leonard is currently averaging 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and one steal per game, and has had a smooth transition into the starting lineup since Manu Ginobili was injured. Leonard has also been instrumental defensively against the likes of Rudy Gay, Kevin Martin and Kevin Durant.

Splitter has shown a drastic improvement since last season and seems like a solid Most Improved Player candidate every game. Splitter is averaging 9.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and just under one blocked shot per game.