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Former Longhorn Tristan Thompson Selected To Rookie Game

The Cleveland Cavaliers forward is the only one of the six first or second-year Texas players in the NBA to be chosen to participate in the All-Star Weekend event.

After only one season at Texas, Tristan Thompson surprised many observers by declaring for the NBA Draft and surprised many more when he was selected No. 4 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But after 18 games as a Cavalier, the former Longhorn appears to have made the right decision, as he was selected to be a part of the pool for the "Rising Stars" game during All-Star Weekend.

In 17 minutes a night for Cleveland, the 6'9 225 power forward is averaging 7.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

But while two of his fellow underclassmen on last year's Texas team, Jordan Hamilton and Cory Joseph, were able to sneak into the end of the first round in the 2011 Draft, neither has made much of an impact as rookies for the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs respectively.

The Longhorns, after flirting with the No. 1 overall ranking nationally before flaming out in March the last two seasons, have had six players selected in the last two NBA Drafts.

Avery Bradley, who was taken No. 17 overall in 2010 by the Boston Celtics, has seen his playing time increase due to the injury to Rajon Rondo, averaging 18 minutes a game while making a significant impact on the defensive end of the ball.

Damion James, who was taken seven spots later by the New Jersey Nets, has struggled with injuries in the NBA, and is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right foot in early January.

Massive 6'10 300 center Dexter Pittman, a 2010 second round pick of the Miami Heat, has bounced back and forth from the NBDL without cracking Miami's rotation.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.