Thursday , Jan , 27 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Howard and Okafor highlight squad for Rookie Challenge

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The rosters for the NBA Rookie Challenge were
announced Thursday, with Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Charlotte’s Emeka Okafor
highlighting a roster that will take on the sophomore squad during All-Star
weekend.

Howard was selected by the Magic with the top overall pick in the 2004 NBA
Draft, just the third high school player taken No. 1 overall after Kwame Brown
(Washington, 2001) and LeBron James (Cleveland, 2003).

Okafor chosen second by the expansion Bobcats after a stellar career as a
center at the University of Connecticut.

Forward Luol Deng and guard Ben Gordon represent a young Chicago squad, while
forward Andre Iguodala of the Sixers, Boston guard Tony Allen, Atlanta forward
Josh Smith and the Spurs’ Beno Udrih round out the 10-man roster.

The sophomore squad is led by Cleveland’s James and Denver’s Carmelo Anthony.
Last season James beat out Anthony for NBA Rookie of the Year honors, despite
Anthony leading the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since the
1994-95 campaign.

Sharpshooter Kyle Korver of Philadelphia, Seattle guard Luke Ridnour, Toronto
forward Chris Bosh, Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich and Dallas forward Josh Howard
were also selected to the team, while Miami teammates Udonis Haslem, a
forward, and Dwyane Wade, a guard, finish out the squad.

The game will be played on Friday, February 18, at the Pepsi Center. The
sophomore squad leads the series, 3-2. Last year, the sophomores defeated the
Rookies, 142-118, with Phoenix’s Amare Stoudamire earning the Most Valuable
Player award.