Utah Flash players and Utah Jazz assignees Morris Almond and Kyrylo Fesenko are among the 13 players with NBA experience who have been named to the rosters for the second annual D-League All-Star Game.
Scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 16, the game will be held on Center Court at the NBA All-Star Jam Session in New Orleans and will be shown live on NBA TV.
The two 10-man rosters the Red Team and the Blue Team were selected by a combination of balloting by the D-League's 14 head coaches and fan voting on D-League.com.
Almond and Fesenko will be on the Blue team, coached by Los Angeles D-Fenders head coach Dan Panaggio. Almond is the D-League's leading scorer, averaging 26.4 points a game. Fesenko averages 10.5 points and 7.0 rebounds a game, with this 2.4 blocked-shots average third-best in the league.
Panaggio and Red Team coach Bryan Gates of the Idaho Stampede who were selected based on their teams' league-best winning percentages at the end of January will select the starting lineups for their respective teams.Another all-star selection of local note is Colorado guard Eddie Gill, who played collegiately at Weber State.
The week that was
The Flash shook off a rough start to their six-game road trip by winning two of three games, with the loss in overtime.
They improved to 15-14 on the year, eight games behind the first-place Idaho Stampede. They also played Tuesday against the Colorado 14ers.
The Flash were propelled by Almond, on assignment from the Utah Jazz.
Almond broke out of his slump since being reassigned to the Flash by reestablishing the NBA Development League record with 53 points in a 102-87 win over the Bakersfield Jam on Jan. 30.
"That night, he was spectacular," Flash coach Brad Jones said. "He scored in the post, driving to the basket, with 3-pointers and from the foul line. That was a special night. He was making shots from the beginning and was able to sustain it through the whole game."
Almond shot 19-34 from the floor and 12-14 from the line to set the record.Almond had already tied the D-League record with 51 points in a 118-116 overtime win against the Austin Toros on Dec. 21.
The Flash lost forward Britton Johnsen, who left the team to pursue basketball opportunities overseas in Turkey. Johnsen had just played in eight games for the Flash, as he was acquired from Bakersfield in a trade for guard Michael Cuffee on Jan. 10.
"I'm happy for Britton," Jones said. "He told us from the start that it would have to be a great opportunity for him to leave. Financially, it's a good opportunity for him. It hurts us from a team standpoint. We knew that was a possibility."
The Flash signed guard Curtis Stinson, who they had previously drafted in the D-League Expansion Draft, to replace Johnsen on the roster."He's got toughness," Flash general manager David Fredman said. "He's a strong combination guard, and he's got experience playing overseas. A guy that's played before and can play both guard positions."
After wrapping up a six-game road trip that was their longest of the season, the Flash return home for two games before going back on the road for five of the following six games.
"Hopefully the guys can take advantage of that," Fredman said. "Now, having been on the road for an extended time, they will realize how important home court is."
Jones said that the team is happy to return home and has noted from their experiences on the road that the Flash enjoy some of the best home crowds in the D-League.
The Flash will host the Anaheim Arsenal on Friday and Idaho on Monday. Both games will start at 7 p.m. at the McKay Center at the campus of UVSC in Orem.