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Former Gonzaga standouts Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke selected for Rising Stars game

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 31, 2020

Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (21) and Brandon Clarke (15) react as the clock runs down in a victory over Florida State in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (21) and Brandon Clarke (15) react as the clock runs down in a victory over Florida State in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke will be teammates again after both former Gonzaga standouts were selected for the Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago.

Hachimura and Clarke will play on the World Team. They’ll face the U.S. team in a Feb. 14 matchup of first- and second-year NBA standouts at the United Center.

Hachimura, one of the most popular athletes in his native Japan after becoming the country’s first first-round draft pick, has been sidelined since mid-December with a groin injury that required a minor surgical procedure.

Hachimura has been practicing and could return to game action Saturday, according to Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Hachimura started the first 25 games, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Clarke, who was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, before moving to Phoenix when he was 3 years old, is averaging 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game for Memphis. Clarke is shooting 62.6% from the field.

Clarke sat out the Grizzlies’ game Friday night with a left hip injury.

Clarke and Hachimura are tied for first in rebounding among rookies.

They formed one of the best frontcourt tandems in the nation last year, combining for nearly 37 points and 15 rebounds as the Zags (33-4) reached the Elite Eight. They became the first pair of Zags taken in the first round of the same draft.

The Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis, another former Zag who was selected Thursday as a reserve for the All-Star Game on Feb. 16, played in Rising Stars games in 2017 and 2018.

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