The NBA has selected Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson to replace Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond on Team Shaq in the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Prior to Sunday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Nicholson discussed his selection to Rising Stars. He had just heard the news himself.
"I'm very excited," Nicholson said. "It's definitely a blessing to be able to go out there and represent for the organization as best I can on a big stage like that."
Nicholson, a rookie from St. Bonaventure, described being selected for the Rising Stars Challenge as "one of my goals." He credited the Magic's coaching staff and his teammates for helping him achieve it. "I see this more like a team achievement [....] It's not like I just did this by myself."
Nicholson's selection gives the Magic two representatives in the February 15th event. He'll be pitted against Nikola Vučević, the second-year center, whom Charles Barkley selected for Team Chuck. "It'll be pretty fun," Nicholson said of playing against Vučević. "We play against each other in practice all the time so it'll definitely be pretty exciting to do that on a stage as big as that."
Nicholson didn't have to cancel any plans in order to arrange for his trip to Houston. "I was planning on just staying here, just relaxing [and] going to the beach, but this is a thousand times better," he said.