Julius Randle is set to realise a dream when he plays in his first NBA All-Star game this weekend.
Randle was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers from the University of Kentucky.
He had an unlucky start to his professional career, breaking his right tibia in the 2014/15 season opener against Houston Rockets.
Randle returned the following season where, at 21 years old, he became the youngest Lakers player with a triple-double since Magic Johnson.
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After four years with the Lakers, Randle signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He recorded a career high of 21.4 points per game in the 2018/19 season, but rather than return to New Orleans for the final year of his contract, he declined the second-year player option to leave and join the New York Knicks as a free agent.
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The 6ft 8in 26-year-old has been named as a reserve for this year’s NBA All-Star game and will be intriguing to see how he carries his 250lbs in the Skills Challenge.
“It was really special,” Randle said of his selection. “It was surreal in a sense.
“Everything you could dream of. It just seemed like it all came to fruition. It was amazing, honestly, and everything that I signed up for.”
The game will be played in Atlanta on 7 March.