Both Buddy Hield and Deandre Ayton took part in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) All-Star weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Hield represented the Sacramento Kings in the 3-point contest on All-Star Saturday night, while Ayton represented the Phoenix Suns on Friday night in the Rising Stars Challenge as a part of Team World.
Hield had a good showing in the opening round of the contest but couldn’t find his rhythm in the finals against two of the premier shooters in the NBA. He put up 26 points in the first round and 19 in the finals, finishing behind winner Joe Harris from the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. Harris netted 26 points in the final round. Curry had 24.
“It felt great,” Hield said about the experience of competing in his first NBA 3-point contest. “I knew if I wanted to compete in the championship round, I had to make 25 or 26, because all these guys can shoot at a high clip.
“It comes down to anxiety and pressure. You know everybody’s watching you and you don’t want to fail.”
As for Ayton, he represented The Bahamas for the World Team which lost to the USA team in a high-scoring exhibition game. Ayton shot 7-12 from the field and put up 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes.
“The game was like a top 25 camp,” Ayton said. “We were competing, but in a fun way. It was a lot of dunks. Just a lot of fast pace basketball.”