SAN ANTONIO - Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs will defend his Taco Bell® Skills Challenge title against a field consisting of Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks. The 2013 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge will take place on Feb. 16, at Toyota Center in Houston as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
Parker will attempt to join the Los Angeles Lakers’ Steve Nash (2005 and 2010) and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only two-time winners in Taco Bell® Skills Challenge history. This year’s Taco Bell® Skills Challenge features an expanded six-player field for the second year in a row. There were five contestants in 2011 and four in 2010.
For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night Champion.
Three players representing the Western Conference and three players representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the two-round competition. The two competitors with the fastest times from their respective conferences in the Team Round advance to the Championship Round. (Complete rules for the 2013 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night attached).
This is the fourth year Taco Bell has offered the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens experience for teens at the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. In partnership with NBA Cares and the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, each Taco Bell Skills Challenge player will be paired with an All-Star teen from a Houston area Boys & Girls Club who has shown outstanding leadership and determination to stay in school despite personal obstacles. All participating teens will receive the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens experience of a lifetime: a behind-the-scenes career tour of NBA All-Star; an opportunity to meet with NBA players; the chance to be on the court during the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to cheer on their NBA player; and an educational scholarship. At the conclusion of this event, $55,000 in educational scholarships will be awarded to the participating All-Star teens. The teen paired with the winning Taco Bell Skills Challenge player will receive a $25,000 educational scholarship.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and features six players competing in a two-round timed “obstacle course” consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. All players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest; the Sears Shooting Stars; and the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in 215 countries and will be broadcast in 47 languages.
Below are the participants for the 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
EASTERN CONFERENCE 2013 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks
Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
WESTERN CONFERENCE 2013 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2008 – Deron Williams, Utah
2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago
2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2011 – Stephen Curry, Golden State
2012 – Tony Parker, San Antonio