Duke basketball players set to make unforeseen history in All-Star Game

Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball players will be making unforeseen history during the NBA All-Star Game. 

It was already a record that three Duke basketball players were named to the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, the most of any collegiate program this year.

That number became more important as all three players, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson, and Jayson Tatum, were drafted by Team Durant ahead of Sunday’s highly anticipated exhibition.

Tatum and Irving were already slated to start for Team Durant. But after the news that Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would be ineligible to play because of COVID-19 contact tracing, former Blue Devil standout Zion Williamson will now be on the floor when the ball is tipped.

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It will be the first time in the history of the All-Star Game that three starting players on the same team all went to the same college, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Williamson will become the fourth-youngest player to start an All-Star Game, behind Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson.

Zion Williamson made the decision not to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest, which will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game.

Duke basketball players participating in All-Star events

Aside from the three players in the All-Star Game, Duke will see a host of other players on display in the one-night All-Star event.

It all begins with Jayson Tatum participating in the 3-Point Shootout prior to the All-Star Game, where the Boston Celtics forward and two-time All-Star is a heavy underdog with a 36.8 three-point percentage as the field is headlined by Steph Curry.

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NBA rookie Cassius Stanley will show off his athleticism in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest as the high-flyer in Durham has not been able to showcase his hops in the NBA during his inaugural season.

Everything begins from Atlanta with the pregame show at 5:00pm EST and the first events at 6:30pm EST on TNT.

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