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Joel Embiid Selected to Debut in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge as Part of the 2017 NBA All-Star

Joel Embiid is a man on a roll despite the 22-year-old dealing with recurring injuries that have limited his playing time in his rookie season out of the University of Kansas, much to the dismay of Philadelphia Sixers fans.

As it may, his debut feature in the Rising Stars Challenge as part of the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend as well as, participating in the Taco Bell Skills Competition on Saturday, Feb. 18, is subject to much anticipation.

Embiid was surprisingly not part of the 7 reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, however, since its debut in 2003, the Cameroon-born center becomes the third Sixers player to be selected for the Skills Challenge.

According to an official announcement from the league,

“The Taco Bell Skills Competition has been reworked to feature guards against big men, putting them in a test of their speed, ball-handling, and shooting.

“Last year, Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns won in the finals against Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, sparking a wild celebration among the competing big men.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”While Thomas will return this season, several intriguing big men will make their debuts, including the tallest player in the NBA, 7-foot-3 Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, and Philadelphia’s multi-talented rookie Joel Embiid.”[/perfectpullquote]

“Taco Bell Skills Challenge field: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid.”

The 7-footer has had a tremendous season, winning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in all three months he has been playing in the NBA and now the odds are 1/25 in his favor to win the Bovada’s Rookie of the Year award.

Embiid’s stats speak for his undoubtedly evident talent averaging 23.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.6 blocks in January alone with 26.7 minutes played per game.

Playing restriction has done nothing to affect his points and assists which have outstandingly risen in the last two played months from 18.4 to 19.8 and 1.7 to 2.3, respectively.

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge is formulated around two players competing simultaneously on an identical course where the fastest finisher qualifies for the next round.

The first round pairs the eight players who are tasked with four head-to-head competitions, from which four winners proceed to the second round for two more head-to-head challenges to determine the two finalists.



Featured photo: Joel Embiid to compete in the Skills Challenge at the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend. (

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