Kenneth Lofton Jr. selected for 2023 Jordan Rising Stars during NBA All-Star Week

Published 1:17 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

The list of accomplishments in his first year of professional basketball continues to grow for Kenneth Lofton Jr.

The former Memorial High star is going primetime tonight as part of the Jordan Rising Stars games, which tip off Friday (Feb. 17) at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City as part of NBA All-Star 2023 festivities.

The annual showcase of premier young talent, featuring a mini-tournament with four teams and three games, airs live at 8 p.m. Friday on TNT.

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The player pool consists of 11 NBA rookies, 10 second-year NBA players and seven NBA G League players.

The 21 NBA players, selected by NBA assistant coaches, were drafted onto three seven-player teams.

The seven NBA G League players selected by the league office, which includes Lofton, comprises the fourth team.

Lofton, one year removed from his college playing days at Louisiana Tech, was not selected in the 2022 NBA draft but immediately signed with Memphis and been a major contributor.

Lofton has logged game action this year for the Memphis Grizzlies and G League’s Memphis Hustle.

He has played in eight games for his NBA club, scoring 17 points so far this season.

In 15 games for the G League Hustle, Lofton is averaging 20.6 points per game, 10.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists over 29 minutes per contest.

Four NBA legends will serve as honorary head coaches for Jordan Rising Stars.

Lofton’s coach is 2011 NBA champion Jason Terry.

Other team coaches are two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol, 2013-14 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah and three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams.

All three games in Jordan Rising Stars will be played to a Final Target Score, meaning that each game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out.

The semifinal games will be played to a Final Target Score of 40.  The final game will be played to a Final Target Score of 25.

In selecting the NBA players for Jordan Rising Stars, each NBA team submitted one ballot per coaching staff. Each coaching staff selected four frontcourt players, four guards and two additional players at either position, in order of preference, for the rookie ballot and the sophomore ballot.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for any player on their team.