January has been very good for Joel Embiid and the Sixers.
After being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week and an All-Star Game starter, Embiid was selected Wednesday to participate in the Rising Stars game with 76ers teammates Ben Simmons and Dario Saric.
The three Sixers will be on the World Team, comprised of international players, and will face a team of first- and second-year players from the United States.
It is likely that Embiid will not play in the Rising Stars game, since he will be playing in the All-Star Game, but the accolades for the team are a good sign, he says.
“It means we’re getting better,” Embiid said.
Saric, who competed in the freshman and sophomore showcase last season, said he was happy that he and Simmons were named to the Rising Stars team but wished that Simmons would have been picked for the All-Star Game.
“It’s an honor to be a part of all-star week and to be participating in a game like that,” Saric said. “But I’m just happy that I’m improving every season, and it’s a gift to me, to my parents, to my family, and all the people around me.”
Saric, who is on a 24-game streak of scoring in double figures, said that the global impact of the NBA and being able to represent his country on a team of international players is important to him.
“To have a flag of my country on the jersey, for me it means a lot,” Saric said. “I cannot take the tourists to visit Croatia, but maybe, in some way, I can represent my small and beautiful country.”
Simmons, who is the leading candidate for rookie-of-the-year honors, is averaging 16.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists, while leading all rookies in assists and steals.
Arcidiacano returns to Philly
Ryan Arcidiacano, a Langhorne native, Neshaminy High School product, and star on Villanova’s 2016 championship team, returned to Philly on Wednesday as a member of the Chicago Bulls
After going undrafted in 2016, Arcidiacano spent time in the G League before signing a two-way contract this season with the Chicago Bulls and their affiliate team, the Windy City Bulls.
“It’s my first time back since my senior night, so getting to see the national championship banner and all that, it’s cool,” Arcidiacano said before facing the Sixers.
Arcidiacano scored his first NBA points on Saturday, in his second game with the Bulls. He finished with eight points and four assists in the win.
He said that a lot of people from around the Philadelphia area were in attendance Wednesday for his return, hoping to see him play.
Arcidiacano, whose brother Chris plays for Neshaminy, attended his brother’s basketball game Tuesday night. Though Neshaminy lost to Bensalem, the younger Arcidiacano scored 36 points.
“He lost,” Arcidiacano said, “but it was good to see him play.”