For the first time since 2004, a former Ohio State basketball player earned a spot on the NBA All-Star team.
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell has been added to the Eastern Conference roster for the NBA All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo.
Russell becomes the first former Buckeye to play in the NBA All-Star game since Michael Redd in 2004.
He was not originally selected as an Eastern Conference reserve, with Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Victor Oladipo, Ben Simmons and Nikola Vucevic earning those seven spots. But with Oladipo missing the game, Russell was named his replacement.
Russell, in his fourth season in the NBA, is averaging a career-high 19.6 points and 6.4 assists per game.
His recent stretch increased the push for him to play in the All-Star game. Russell is averaged 25.6 points and 7.2 assists per game in the past 10 games. On Jan. 21, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week by averaging 28 points and seven assists per game during a stretch that included a 40-point performance to help beat the Orlando Magic.
At Ohio State, Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists per game during the 2014-15 season. The Buckeyes went 24-11 and finished sixth in the Big Ten. They beat VCU in the first round of the NCAA tournament behind 28 points from Russell before Arizona eliminated them in the second round.
The All-Star game will tip off at 8 p.m. on Feb. 17. It will be broadcasted on TNT. The rosters will be determined with a draft by the two team captains – Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo – at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The draft will also be shown on TNT.