All-Star Weekend 2024: Houston Texans’ CJ Stroud to play for ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in NBA celebrity game on Friday

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (KTRK) — The last time C.J. Stroud was in Indianapolis, he and his Texans torched the Colts to steal a playoff spot from their AFC South rivals.

On Friday, No. 7 returns to the “Crossroads of America,” where he gets a chance to torch the basketball hard court.

The reigning Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year is among the multiple stars of sports, Hollywood, and music to be added during the 2024 Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday, a precursor event to the NBA All-Star Game set for the following Sunday.

The video above is from an April 2023 story before the Texans selected Stroud with the No. 2 pick.

The Pro Bowler will be part of Team Stephen A. Smith, who will take on a team led by his ESPN First Take co-host, Shannon Sharpe.

Smith, rapper Lil’ Wayne, and reigning two-time WNBA champion A’ja Wilson are coaching Stroud and company. The 22-year-old Houston Texan will team up with some unique names, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, former Houston Rockets star Metta World Peace, and Backstreet Boys member A.J. McLean.

Sharpe’s team, which upcoming RodeoHouston artist 50 Cent will also help coach, boasts country singer Walker Hayes and Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons.

Stroud’s main Offensive Rookie of the Year rival, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua, is also part of the game, though it’s not known if he’s playing with or against Stroud.

ABC13 sister network ESPN is airing the game live from Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m. CT.

Stroud and basketball

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud shoots during the “First Shot” charity promotion before the start of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Houston.

AP Photo/Michael Wyke

While this may seem like a hard left turn for one of the most accurate arms in the NFL, Stroud has a history with basketball.

The 6-foot-4-inch California native was a two-sport athlete at Rancho Cucamonga High School, playing varsity hoops and football. He wore No. 23, like his favorite team’s top star, LeBron James, and played shooting guard and small forward.

In a recent interview with Houston sideline reporter Vanessa Richardson, Stroud admitted that basketball was his first love and that he always thought he would be in the NBA.

Not all of his learned basketball skills were wasted. He said the footwork in the sport is ideal for the football field.

SEE ALSO: CJ Stroud helps surprise Purple Heart recipient and son with tickets to Super Bowl LVIII

Texans quarterback CJ Stroud is sending a military veteran and his son on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Super Bowl. Stroud also pledged to spend time with them while in Vegas, attending the Big Game’s festivities.

CJ Stroud focusing on being the best, Tank Dell updates recovery

C.J. Stroud said he’s going to get much-needed rest after he said he’s been working non-stop since childhood to reach his current success.

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