After an impressive two-year career at Virginia Tech, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is making more Virginia Tech history in the NBA as he became the first Hokie to play in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.
For those who don't know, the NBA Rising Stars Challenge is an event that features the best rookie and sophomores in the NBA. The first game was played in 1994 and the format has changed multiple times till the current format with a USA vs World breakdown.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker was one of 23 rookies and sophomores to receive the honor, representing the World team as a native Canadian. This comes after Alexander-Walker emerged as a solid rotational player as a rookie for the New Orleans Pelicans averaging 5.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 12.2 minutes per game while shooting 34.2% from three-point range.
Unfortunately for Alexander-Walker, he wasn't able to have the most efficient performance in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Alexander-Walker struggled going 2-12 from the field including 2-10 from three-point range to finish with 6 points but also had 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in his 19 minutes of action.
Overall, the biggest thing with this event is that it's a showcase for fans to see the next generation of stars and a major honor for the NBA's top young players.
Looking to the future, expect Alexander-Walker to continue to improve and be back in next year's Rising Stars Challenge, especially if the growth Alexander-Walker showed between his first and second seasons at Virginia Tech is an indication of how valuable a year of experience is for the former 17th overall pick.
The question that remains is whether another Hokie could be next to follow him path to the NBA's All-Star Weekend during the next few years.