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Bennedict Mathurin lights up the night, clinches 2024 NBA Rising Stars Game MVP

Indiana Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin shined at the 2024 NBA Rising Stars Game, earning the MVP trophy with an impressive show of talent and confidence.

Bennedict mathurin skies for thunderous one hand slam dunk during the 2024 nba rising stars game
Bennedict mathurin skies for thunderous one hand slam dunk during the 2024 nba rising stars game

In a dazzling performance filled with jaw-dropping highlights and unexpected banter, Mathurin etched his name in history, becoming the third Canadian to win the NBA Rising Stars Game MVP.

Joining the ranks of Jamal Murray (2017) and Andrew Wiggins (2015), Mathurin’s victory underscores the enduring legacy of Canadian talent in the league since the game’s inception in the 1993-1994 season.

A show of confidence: “You can’t guard me”

In a memorable exchange during the first game between Team Jalen and Team Tamika, Mathurin took the spotlight with a bold declaration. Confronting Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, Mathurin confidently asserted, “Even in the Rising Stars game, you can’t guard me.”

The verbal sparring between the two continued, adding an extra layer of intensity to the matchup. Notably, Mathurin (No. 6) was drafted just one spot behind Ivey (No. 5) in the 2022 NBA Draft, adding an intriguing narrative to their on-court duel.

“We just having a normal conversation, you know, competing, talking crap, just having fun,” Mathurin explained, when asked what transpired between him and Ivey.

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$25,000 free-throw gamble

The Rising Stars Challenge features a unique format with a target score, and late in the contest, Mathurin found himself in a high-stakes moment. With Team Jalen leading 38-35, Mathurin stood at the free-throw line with the opportunity to seal the game.

“I mean, I just seen a couple of shots go in, and I was like, it’s a wrap,” a smiling Mathurin discussed after the game. “If I’m being totally honest, it’s also my city, I had to make sure I had to bring it home.”

Despite the confident offer of a $25,000 bet to Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero, Mathurin missed both free throws, leaving the crowd in suspense. Regrettably for Banchero, he opted not to take Mathurin up on the wager, missing out on a potential windfall.

Redemption in the clutch

Undeterred by the missed free throws, Mathurin showcased resilience and determination. In a stunning turnaround, he called for the ball once again, drove the baseline, and drained a game-winning jumper over Scoot Henderson.

“It’s great, it’s for us, the Pacers, but, I feel like it’s also great for the kids who are watching me, see me as an idol, pretty much grateful for that.”

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Mathurin’s clutch performance secured the victory for Team Jalen, with him contributing an impressive 18 points of the team’s total 40.

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