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Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. highlights Latino flavor at NBA All-Star Weekend

Karl-Anthony Towns prepares to regain 3-point title

From rookie phenom Jaime Jaquez Jr. to Pau Gasol, Hispanics are slowly growing the game of basketball for the next generation. Latinos across the country should be excited for NBA All-Star Weekend, beginning Friday.

Six Hispanics are participating in five of six events tied to the NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis.

Jaquez, the Miami Heat’s sensational forward, is off to a hot start in his rookie campaign. The first-round pick is averaging 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 47 games. Jaquez was Kia’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in October/November and December.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. has skills

In addition, the former Pac-12 Player of the Year became the fifth rookie in NBA history to collect 30 points and 10 rebounds on Christmas Day, joining Walt Bellamy, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Patrick Ewing. Four of those players are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 

The Mexican American Jaquez will showcase his skills in the Panini Rising Stars and AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. There’s no secret Jaquez knows his way through a dunk contest. 

When he attended Camarillo High School, he participated in the California high school dunk contest in 2019. Jaquez Jr. defeated Philadelphia 76ers forward Kenyon “KJ” Martin Jr. and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London to capture the trophy.

Fast forward to 2024, Jaquez Jr. can become the second Latino and Mexican American to win the high flying award. Former All-Star Cedric Ceballos defeated Larry Johnson to win the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest. Juan Toscano-Anderson wore Mexican-flag themed Nikes while finishing second at the 2022 AT&T Slam Dunk Contest.

“I think I got one dunk that you guys are gonna be surprised to see,” Jaquez said on the Podcast P Show with Paul George. “We got a lot of work behind the scenes being put into the creativity of all this.”


Juan Toscano-Anderson soars with Mexican eagle

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Jaimito will go up against Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Jacob Toppin (New York Knicks) and last year’s Slam Dunk champion Matt McClung (NBA G League Osceola Magic).

Jaquez’s coach for the Panini Rising Stars will be no other than two-time NBA champion and basketball great Pau Gasol

The Hall of Fame center was paramount to the Los Angeles Lakers’ success when he was paired with 18-time All-Star Kobe Bryant. 

Pau Gasol leads Rising Stars

For the second time, Gasol will coach in the Rising Stars event. Team Gasol carried a 25-20 victory last year against Team Joakim as New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado was named the tournament’s MVP.

Gasol will defend his title and look to spread his knowledge of his post work to an upcoming superstar Latino forward as Bryant did when the Lakers acquired Gasol in 2007. NBA G League Ignite forward Izan Almansa is playing in the Panini Rising Stars with Team Detlef. 

Almansa is averaging 10.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19 games. The 18-year-old Spaniard is currently projected as the No. 18 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft by ESPN.

Latin American Music Award artist and Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA is starring in the Ruffles All-Star Celebrity Game.

Dominican American Karl-Anthony Towns was awarded his fourth trip to the NBA All-Star Game. Towns, 28, is averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and shooting a career-best .436 three-point field goal percentage. He has played a pivotal part for the Minnesota Timberwolves as they’re first in the Western Conference with a 38-16 record.

Moreover, the Dominican American is participating in the Starry 3-point contest. The event features some sharpshooters like Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks), Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), etc. Towns looks to regain the title he won during the 2022 NBA 3-point contest.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker earned his fourth appearance in the All-Star Game. He’s averaging 28 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 44 games. Booker’s mother is Mexican American, and his grandfather immigrated from Los Nogales, Mexico, to Michigan.

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