The "Rising Stars Challenge" is an exhibition basketball game held by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on the Friday before the annual All-Star Game as part of the All-Star Weekend. It is sponsored by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). The players are first- and second-year players selected by the NBA's assistant coaches. Two people designated as "general managers" draft players for the two opposing teams. The event was rebranded from the Rookie Challenge, officially named the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.
The Rookie Challenge, established in 1994, was originally competed by two randomly selected teams composed entirely of first-year players. This format was continued until 1996, when it was changed to pit rookie teams of both the Eastern and the Western Conference against each other. In 1999, the game was cancelled as a result of the NBA lockout. Since the 1998 rookie class did not compete that year, the game was revamped and featured a team of standout first-year players ('Rookies') against a team of standout second-year players ('Sophomores'). In 2012, the format was changed to having two teams drafted by Charles Barkley (Team Chuck) and Shaquille O'Neal (Team Shaq). Unlike regular NBA games, the game was divided into two twenty-minute halves, similar to college basketball. The participating players were chosen by voting among the league's assistant coaches. In the game, players wear their respective regular team uniforms, except for 2009, in which players wore fan-designed jerseys. The head coaches of the two teams are the lead assistant coaches of the NBA All-Star Game coach. Starting in 2009, two active NBA players were added to the game coaching staffs. The format of the game and name was changed to the Rising Stars Challenge in 2012.
NBA All-Star 2013 will play host to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, which will feature two teams drafted by TNT Analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal who will serve as the opposing general managers.
Each team will have ten man rosters, consisting of both NBA rookies and sophomores drafted from a pool that was previously selected by the NBA's assistant coaches. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online for who should be in the starting lineup for each team. (Source: NBA)