It's been a dismal first half of the season for the Washington Bullets, who enter the All-Star break coming off Thursday's loss to the lowly Dallas Mavericks. All of the Washington players will get a break from basketball this weekend, with the exception of one.
Guard Calbert Cheaney, the sixth pick in last year's NBA draft, will be one of 16 players participating in tonight's debut Rookie All-Star Game, to be played at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Cheaney, 6-foot-7 and out of Indiana, moved into Washington's starting lineup with the injury last month to Rex Chapman. He will play on the "Sensations" team coached by K. C. Jones. Cheaney's teammates will include Orlando Magic guard Anfernee Hardaway, Mavericks forward Jamal Mashburn and Philadelphia 76ers center Shawn Bradley.
The Sensations will face the "Phenoms," who will be coached by Doug Collins. Members of the Phenoms will include former Dunbar star and Houston Rockets guard Sam Cassell, Golden State Warriors center Chris Webber, and Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Cheaney said. "There are a couple of guys I played against in college like Mashburn and [Nick] Van Excel. I think it's going to be a fun thing, not a serious thing."
Cheaney, who said he made no plans for the break other than a few days off, said his mother and some relatives from the Minneapolis area will be in attendance.
"I've got some family out there that I'll get a chance to see," Cheaney said.
The game will consist of two 15-minute halves, and players cannot foul out.
The rookie game replaces the Legends game between former stars, marred in recent years by injuries.
Rosters for the Schick Rookie Game, to be played today in
.. .. .. PHENOMS Player.. .. .. .. Team
Sam Cassell .. .. Houston
Antonio Davis ... Indiana
Lindsey Hunter .. Detroit
Toni Kukoc ... .. Chicago
Dino Radja ... .. Boston
Isaiah Rider . .. Minnesota
Bryon Russell ... Utah
Chris Webber . .. Golden State
.. .. .. SENSATIONS Player .. .. .. .. .. Team
Shawn Bradley . .. .. Philadelphia
P.J. Brown . .. .. .. New Jersey
Calbert Cheaney .. .. Washington
Anfernee Hardaway ... Orlando
Ron "Popeye" Jones .. Dallas
Jamal Mashburn ... .. Dallas
Chris Mills ... .. .. Cleveland
Nick Van Exel L.A. .. Lakers