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Pro Blue: NBA All-Star Weekend Recap

Simpson and Wagner represented Michigan in Salt Lake City.

2023 NBA All-Star - NBA G League Next Up Game Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA All-Star break came and went this week and while the game itself was a dud (some described it as the “worst basketball game ever played”), there were some intriguing lead-up events.

Two of those events included former Michigan Wolverines. Here’s how they performed:

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

Just like his older brother Moe did in 2020, Franz took part in this year’s Rising Stars Challenge. This year, the challenge was split into four teams in a single-elimination, bracket-style tournament. Franz was on Team Deron (Williams), but they unfortunately fell in the opening round to Team Pau (Gasol).

Wagner tallied three rebounds, but was otherwise uninvolved. This wasn’t overly surprising as his greatest assets, such as his defensive prowess, don’t translate to All-Star festivities.

Wagner was then spotted in Ann Arbor over the weekend to help celebrate the 2013 team reunion, so it was cool to see him back in Michigan with some old friends.

Zavier Simpson, Lakeland Magic

As we foreshadowed last week, Simpson was selected to participate in the NBA G-League Next Up Game. The former Wolverine point guard scored eight points and chipped in five assists and three steals for Team Luka (Garza) in a victory.

Captain Hook even lived up to that nickname by knocking down one of his patented hooks. I’d say it was a successful weekend for both Franz and Zavier.

Next season, it’s very possible two former Wolverines reach the All-Star status in both Franz Wagner and Jordan Poole. Until then, we have the second half of the NBA season to look forward to.