Trey Burke to Defend Title in 2015 Taco Bell Skills Challenge

The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz guard and defending champion Trey Burke has been selected to take part in the 2015 Taco Bell Skills Challenge. The event will be part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday, Feb. 14. Burke will also take part in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Friday night in Brooklyn. TNT will exclusively televise the Skills Challenge, which features a head-to-head, bracket-style tournament format for the first time. The eight-player field consists of three-rounds in an obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills. The Skills Challenge format calls for two players to compete simultaneously on an identical course with the fastest finisher reaching the next round. In the first round, the eight players have been paired to participate in four head-to-head competitions, with Burke matching up against the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Knight. The four winners advance to the second round, where two more head-to-head showdowns will determine the two finalists. Complete rules can be found at Burke (6-1, 190, Michigan) is making his second appearance in the Skills Challenge, after teaming with Portland’s Damian Lillard to win the competition last year in New Orleans. The ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Burke has appeared in 48 games (41 starts) this season, averaging 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 32.1 minutes. The 6-1 guard has scored in double figures in 34 contests, including 20-plus points on six occasions. He has also registered three double-doubles of 10-plus points and 10-plus assists. Burke is just the second Jazzman to compete in the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday Night (Deron Williams also won in 2008 and competed in 2010). In addition to Burke vs. Knight, the other Skills Challenge matchups include Toronto’s Kyle Lowry facing Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Atlanta’s Jeff Teague with Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, and Philadelphia’s Isaiah Thomas against Washington’s John Wall.

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