Clippers’ Luke Kennard to participate in All-Star three-point shooting contest
As a teenager, Clippers guard Luke Kennard often went to King Island, an amusement park near his southern Ohio home where roller coasters were not the only draw for the high school basketball star. There was also a three-point shooting contest.
On his way to setting Ohio’s all-time high school scoring record, passing even LeBron James, Kennard won many games at King Island.
“They had jerseys hanging on the walls and video-game consoles, prizes to win if you got a certain number,” Kennard said this month. “So I walked away with a lot of NBA jerseys growing up and a couple of video-game consoles. So, yes, it was a lot of fun.”
Kennard is now returning to his home state for yet another three-point shootout — this time on a slightly larger stage. The Clippers guard will compete in the NBA’s three-point competition Feb. 19 in Cleveland, one of several skills challenges held the day before the All-Star game. The contestants were announced Tuesday.
Kennard will compete against Memphis guard Desmond Bane, Chicago guard Zach LaVine, New Orleans guard CJ McCollum, Brooklyn guard Patty Mills, Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns, Toronto guard Fred VanVleet and Atlanta guard Trae Young.
The slam dunk contest, which caps the events that Saturday, will feature Orlando guard Cole Anthony, New York forward Obi Toppin, Houston guard Jalen Green and Golden State forward Juan Toscano-Anderson. The skills challenge contestants will be grouped in teams of three players: Team Rooks (Toronto forward Scottie Barnes, Detroit guard Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey), Team Cavs (center Jarrett Allen, guard Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley) and Team Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee forwards Giannis and Thanasis plus NBA G League Raptors 905 forward Alex).
Entering Tuesday, Kennard, 25, was a 41.7% three-point shooter in his five NBA seasons and had made 42.8% of his three-point tries this season. It will mark the fifth time the Clippers have been represented in the thee-point competition, following Norm Nixon in 1986, Quentin Richardson in 2002 and JJ Redick in 2015 and 2016. No Clipper has ever won, however.
With the NBA trade deadline Thursday, the Lakers and Clippers are actively seeking to make some moves. L.A. Times NBA reporters weigh their options.
Kennard is the only Clippers representative during the All-Star weekend festivities. For the first time since 2019, the Clippers won’t have a player in the main game. An elbow injury in December derailed Paul George’s chance to earn his second All-Star nod since joining the Clippers and eighth overall.
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