Monday, 02 February 2009 18:18

Playstation® Skills Challenge

Written by  Melanie Curtsinger - Orlando Magic
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Playstation Skills Challenge 2009Orlando's Jameer Nelson set to Compete in Playstation® Skills Challenge New Jersey’s Harris, Orlando’s Nelson, San Antonio’s Parker and Chicago’s Rose to Vie for Title

NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2009 – A new PlayStation® Skills Challenge champion will be crowned as the New Jersey Nets’ Devin Harris, the Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson, the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose will take the floor on Feb. 14, as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The PlayStation® Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and consists of four players competing in a two-round timed “obstacle course” consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. All players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. The two players with the fastest times from the first round advance to the finals with the order of competition determined by inverse order of the first round times. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

All-Star Saturday Night Phoenix 2009 NBAA first-time NBA All-Star, Harris, who paces the Nets in scoring (21.5 ppg), assists (6.4 apg) and steals (1.7 spg), is one of only five players averaging at least 21.0 points and 6.0 assists. Another first-time All-Star, Nelson is averaging a career-high 17.0 points, while shooting .506 from the field and .456 from beyond the arc. Rose, a leading candidate for T-Mobile Rookie of the Year honors and a participant this year’s T-Mobile Rookie Challenge on Feb. 13, paces rookies and is among the league leaders in assists (6.3 apg); he ranks second among first-year players in scoring (16.7 ppg). Parker, an All-Star for the third time and a participant in the inaugural PlayStation® Skills Challenge in 2003, became only the second player in NBA history to record at least 55 points, 10 assists and five rebounds when he did it Nov. 5 at Minnesota, joining Oscar Robertson.

Last year in New Orleans, Utah’s Deron Williams covered the course in a record 25.5 seconds in the second round to
capture the title.

The PlayStation® Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Sprite Slam Dunk and Haier Shooting Stars. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from US Airways Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 215 countries and territories worldwide in 44 languages.

All of this year's All-Star participants will join members of the NBA Family for the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service on Friday, Feb. 13. The volunteers will participate in one of three projects in the Phoenix community.

- Tampa Bay Informer
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