Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com Kings second-year guard Isaiah Thomas is averaging 12.7 points and 3.6 assists in 30 starts this season.

Kings notes: Kings' Thomas selected for Rising Stars Challenge

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 - 2:08 pm

Isaiah Thomas' 24th birthday got a little better Thursday evening.

The Kings second-year guard found out he will be in Houston for the Rising Stars Challenge next Friday as part of All-Star Weekend.

Thomas and Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio were added to the pool of available first- and second-year players by the game's acting commissioner, TNT analyst and former NBA guard Kenny Smith, who was drafted in the first round (sixth overall) by the Kings in 1987.

The initial pool of players was selected by a vote of NBA assistant coaches. If Thomas had not been added, it would have been the first time since 2009 that the Kings weren't represented at All-Star Weekend. It's the fourth consecutive season a King will be in the rookie-sophomore game.

Center DeMarcus Cousins was upset over Thomas' initial exclusion and blamed the state of the Kings organization.

When he learned Thomas was part of the game, Cousins tweeted "Congrats to my LITTLE big bro" along with wishing Thomas a happy birthday.

Thomas is averaging 12.7 points and 3.6 assists in 30 starts this season.

As a rookie, Thomas wasn't selected for Rising Stars game last season. He said one goal this season was to make the team.

Cousins represented the Kings in the game last season.

Thomas will be on Team Chuck, consisting of players drafted by Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley.

The team will be coached by Mike Budenholzer, the lead assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.

After the Kings' game Wednesday at Dallas, Thomas will travel to Houston instead of taking a break with the rest of his teammates.

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