By Norielle Pastor

PHOTO: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images ; David Zalubowski/AP

The 2022 NBA Rising Stars Challenge got a little bit different but is more explosive than ever as young and developing prospects go all-out to prove that they are futures in the making in Cleveland.

As part of the 75th anniversary of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Rising Stars Challenge is a new installment featuring first-year and second-year players as well as select gunners from NBA G-League Ignite to play in the All-Star Weekend on February 18-20.

Cleveland Cavaliers' center-forward Evan Mobley is one of the clear favorites this year for the rookies, being a vital piece for his team this season averaging 14.8 points, 8.1 rebs, and 2.6 assist on 50.5% shooting from the field. 

He will be teaming up with Detroit Pistons' top draft pick Cade Cunningham, who lately recovered from his shooting slump and helped the Pistons seal wins as the go-to guy.

Alongside Mobley and Cunningham, Fil-Am Jalen Green also secured a spot for the upcoming event as he displayed his athleticism for the Houston Rockets and played on a high level as a starter with a stellar 14.2 points per outing. 

Other rookies included were:

Scottie Barnes (Raptors)

Ayo Dosunmu (Bulls)

Chris Duarte (Pacers)

Josh Giddey (Thunder)

Herbert Jones (Pelicans)

Davion Mitchell (Kings)

Alperen Sengun (Rockets)

Jalen Suggs (Magic)

Franz Wagner (Magic)

Meanwhile, the sophomores look to be a more formidable team led by reigning Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, who is currently leading the Hornets to a 28-23 record, being 7th seed in the East, and will also play for his first all-star appearance. 

The Hornets' star will be accompanied by Minnesota Timberwolves' high-flyer Anthony Edwards, sharp-shooter Desmond Bane, and Sacramento's Tyrese Haliburton.

Philadelphia's starting point guard, Tyrese Maxey also got a spot in the sophomore elite team.

Other sophomores included were: 

Precious Achiuwa (Raptors)

Cole Anthony (Magic)

Saddiq Bey (Pistons)

Jaden McDaniels (Timberwolves)

Isaac Okoro (Cavaliers)

Isaiah Stewart (Pistons)

Jae’Sean Tate (Rockets)

The main twist of this year's competition will be the joint reinforcement of four G-League players namely: MarJon Beauchamp, Dyson Daniels, Jaden Hardy, and Scoot Henderson.

They were chosen by G-League coaches and will be drafted to join and play in the two teams. 

Edited by Jostle Does Pilayre