Breaking News

Dallas native Julius Randle reflects on his first NBA All-Star Game: ‘I want it many more times’

By Callie Caplan

10:49 PM on Mar 7, 2021 CST

Eight years ago, Julius Randle was a highly touted senior forward for Prestonwood Christian, on the cusp of winning his third TAPPS state championship in four years at the Plano school.

Fast forward to Sunday night, and the Dallas native achieved another major basketball milestone: playing in his first NBA All-Star Game.

As a member of Team Durant in the league’s annual showcase, Randle finished with four points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes off the bench in Atlanta.

He also participated in the pregame skills challenge, losing in the first round to the Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, the eventual winner, and served as a 6-8 hurdling prop for Knicks teammate Obi Toppin, the runner-up in the halftime dunk contest.

The pandemic restrictions and condensed schedule for the 2020 All-Star game were unprecedented, but that didn’t dampen the Knicks power forward’s pride to have marked his rise from young Dallas prospect to one of the NBA’s best 24 players this season.

“I really want the experience to resonate,” Randle said, “because I want it many more times.”

Randle’s 4-year-old son, Kyden, hopes the same for his dad, too.

“He’s definitely loving that,” Randle said, “walking around and saying he’s an All-Star kid.”

Randle, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has been the focal point of the Knicks’ turnaround season. He’s averaging 23.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, on pace to be career-best marks.

His production has contributed to a breakout run in his winding professional path — from three years with the Lakers, to one with the Pelicans to now two with the Knicks — and has added another level of intrigue for a couple of upcoming games.

Mavericks-Knicks matchups already receive extra hype because of their connection in the 2019 blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis.

Add Randle’s hometown connection to the list of entertaining storylines when the Mavericks play in New York on April 2 and host the Knicks, and their leading Dallas-raised star, on April 16.

Find more high school sports coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *