Atlanta Hawks sophomore Onyeka Okongwu was snubbed for Rising Stars

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are starting to get used to snubs. Trae Young is one of the most snubbed players in the NBA but fortunately this season the fans voted him to be an All-Star starter. The same cannot be said for Onyeka Okongwu and the Rising Stars Challenge.

While Okongwu did sit out the first couple of months of the season due to injury, his game since returning has been off the charts. He has appeared in 18 games, six of them starts and averaged 9.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.1 assists and 0.6 steals in 23.2 minutes per game.

He has been taking all the right shots too, hit an incredible 72.9 percent from the floor. He is only taking 5.3 attempts, making an superb3.9 of them. The fact that he is taking 92.7 percent of these looks from within ten feet, and 72.9 percent of them from within three feet helps his shooting percentage no end.

Atlanta Hawks sophomore Onyeka Okongwu has helped turn the teams fortunes around.

Not only has Okongwu been a presence on offense, especially in the pick and role, his defense has been crucial during the Hawks winning streak. The Hawks are showing some well deserved faith in the sophomore. His energy has been infectious and is turning the Hawks back into the team that we all know that they are.

Players like Precious Achiuwa have not had the same impact on their franchises. Achuiwa numbers of 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, going at 42,7 percent from the floor do not compare to Okongwu’s.

The NBA are also  including players from the G League Ignite franchise to play in the mini-tournament. If they are doing this, then why not invite Justin Tillman or Cat Barber to play in the tournament? Why, because they are not at the same level as Okongwu and a player only has two years to make this representative team.

Next. The Williams/Okongwu connection is growing. dark

The Hawks second-year phenom has helped contain Giannis Anetetokounmpo and other top NBA players since his return. Why? Because he is one of the most talented defenders in his draft class whose showtime dunks have become a thing of beauty. To put it simply, Okongwu has been snubbed from the Rising Stars Challenge and this snub needs to be rectified.