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Aussie Irving in NBA's All Star game
16:05 AEST Fri Jan 25 2013

AP - Kyrie Irving will become the first Australian-born basketballer to play in the NBA All Stars game next month.

The Melbourne-born point guard was on Friday (AEST) named as one of 14 players selected by NBA coaches as reserves for the 2013 All-Star game next month.

Irving was involved in a tug of war for his international services last year, with the Boomers eager to pick him to spearhead their London Olympics campaign and build around him for the future.

But the former No.1 draft pick chose to align himself with Team USA - a move that looks like paying dividends in the future following an impressive debut season and a brilliant start to his second year in the NBA.

The 20-year-old joins an elite group to earn All-Star selection before the age of 21, with only Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett having achieved the rare feat before him.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan and the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh headlined the 14 players selected as reserves for the All-Star game.

Duncan was selected to his 14th All Star game and he'll be joined by Spurs teammate Tony Parker, who was also named a reserve.

The Chicago Bulls, keeping themselves in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference despite the prolonged injury absence of Derrick Rose, also had two players named as reserves in Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

Noah is one of five first-time All-Stars among the Eastern Conference reserves, joining Cleveland's Irving, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday and Indiana's Paul George.

Bosh was named to his eighth All-Star team.

Joining Duncan and Parker as reserves in the West are Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Houston's James Harden, David Lee of Golden State, Zach Randolph of Memphis and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.

The mid-season exhibition will be played in Houston on Sunday, February 17.

The starters, selected by fan voting, were named last week with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant leading all players in votes in earning a record 15th successive All-Star selection.

Bryant is joined in the West starting lineup by the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Lakers teammate Dwight Howard and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant.

Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, New York's Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo will start for the East.

The East and West All-Star coaches will be determined by the best record in the conferences through February 3.


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