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Lauri Markkanen, Deandre Ayton selected to NBA Rising Stars challenge

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Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

A pair of former Arizona Wildcats, Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls and reigning No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, have been among the selections to the NBA’s annual Rising Stars Challenge as part of All-Star Weekend.

Both Ayton and Markkanen will represent the World Team in Charlotte.

Markkanen has been one of the hottest shooters in the league as of late. He recently became the first player in Bulls history to make three-plus 3-pointers in seven straight games. The native of Finland is averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season.

As for Ayton, the Suns center has missed the last four games due to an ankle sprain. Nevertheless, the former Wildcats star has averaged a double-double in his rookie campaign with 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

According to AZCentral, Ayton is nearing a return to action and could see the floor as early as this weekend.