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Ex-Arizona star Lauri Markkanen named NBA All-Star reserve

lauri-markkanen-selected-nba-all-star-reserve-arizona-wildcats-basketball Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Lauri Markkanen is officially an All-Star.

The Utah Jazz forward was named an NBA All-Star reserve Thursday, giving Utah a home team participant in this year’s All-Star game, which will be played in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.

This is the first All-Star appearance for Markkanen, was voted a reserve by the NBA’s 30 coaches. Markkanen will compete for the West All-Star team.

A former All-American at Arizona, Markkanen has seen his NBA career take off in his first season with the Jazz. The 25-year-old is averaging 24.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Jazz, who entered Thursday in ninth place in the Western Conference.

Markkanen joined the Jazz this past summer after being traded by Cleveland, where he spent the 2021-22. Markkanen previously played four seasons with Chicago, which selected him as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Through 48 games, Markkanen is shooting 52.1% from the field including 43.4% from 3-point range, both career-highs. Markkanen has scored more than 20 points in 19 consecutive games.

Markkanen will be joined in Salt Lake City by Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin, who earlier this week was named to the NBA Rising Stars game. Jason Terry, now an assistant for the Jazz, will coach in that game.

He is the fourth UA alum to make the All-Star Game, joining Andre Iguodala (2012), Gilbert Arenas (2005-07) and Sean Elliott (1993, 1996).