After initially being put on blast for snubbing Vince Williams Jr. of a selection, the NBA has officially made things right as they've added the Memphis Grizzlies sophomore to the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend as an injury replacement for New Orleans Pelicans guard, Dyson Daniels.
Though deserving of a nod from the get-go, the wing's addition to the exhibition in this fashion is certainly still a noteworthy accomplishment as it proves that his production has not only caught the attention of his teammates and coaching staff but those residing outside the 38103 as well.
Following their Monday night bout against NOLA, coach Taylor Jenkins talked about Williams' Rising Stars selection, wishing him "huge congrats" and acknowledging that it's a well-deserved honor.
Grizzlies' Taylor Jenkins talks Vince Williams Jr.'s Rising Stars selection
"What an unbelievable recognition. He's just got a worker's hat, you know. Even his reaction when we celebrated right before the game when the announcement was coming out, he's super humble. He's just got that quiet smile on his face and dapped up his teammates. Guys were giving him hugs and he was just ready to go out there and compete tonight. He's continuously shown progress one day at a time. He does anything that it takes. He loves to compete, he wants to win so bad. Obviously an individual accolade that hopefully sinks in with him and he gets to enjoy All-Star Weekend."- Taylor Jenkins
In the following hours after the announcement was made, Williams displayed what coach Jenkins had noted in his presser about how he's "continuously shown progress" in his game by dropping a career-high in assists (9) while also registering 12 points, 3 rebounds, and a steal on top of that during the club's hard-fought 96-87 loss to the Pelicans.
Since establishing himself as a consistent starter within the rotation for the Grizzlies, Williams has found himself posting impressive per-game averages of 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 38.1 percent from deep.
His counting stats along with his defensive efforts and all-around hustle have endeared him to the Grind City faithful and even helped him earn a new multi-year deal with the franchise in the process.
On top of these accomplishments, he can now add his inclusion in the 2024 Rising Stars Challenge as yet another proverbial badge for him to wear with pride and he looks to further establish himself in the association.
At just 23 years old, the future seems incredibly bright for the likes of Vince Williams Jr.