CLEVELAND – It was the perfect way for the guard to finish up as close to a perfect start to his career in the National Basketball Association.
Ayo Dosunmu got the chance to be on the national stage with the best young players in the league on Friday, taking part in the Rising Stars event at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday.
The former Morgan Park High School and Illinois standout was on Team Payton for the four-team tournament, where teams played to 50 for the right to advance to a final game that played to 25 points.
Dosunmu only got one chance to take the floor since his team was defeated by Team Barry in a competitive contest 50-48. The guard was 2-of-4 from the field, 1-for-2 from the three-point range for five points with two assists and a rebound.
“It was fun to get out there and play, have fun, definitely,” said Dosunmu of the game, which was his first career activity during All-Star Weekend.
About the only thing that went wrong for the guard during the game was when he jammed his thumb towards the end of the game,
“I tried to take down a block and I hit it on the rim. It bent back,” said Dosunmu, though it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury.
That’s a good thing for the Bulls because Dosunmu has played a critical role in the team’s success both as a reserve and a starter. The second round pick has earned praise for his versatility and intensity, starting 20 of his 54 games as the team dealt with COVID and injury issues.
Dosunmu is scoring 8.1 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per contest in an average of 25.9 minutes as the Bulls have worked their way into a tie for first in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Break.
It will be a fight to remain there in a very wide open race for that top spot over the next few months as the Bulls look ahead to their first postseason in five years. Hence Dosunmu doesn’t really have much time to reflect on his progress this year or the first All-Star Weekend moment of his career.
He also believes his fellow rookies, many who’ve made significant contributions to teams like he has, feel the same.
“After the season, we’ll sit back and reflect,” said Dosunmu. “Everyone’s focused in, trying to make a playoff runs, stay focused and keep getting better.”