**FILE** John Wall (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** John Wall (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

The Washington Wizards backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal has been selected as 2018 NBA All-Stars, the league announced Tuesday.

This marks the first time the Wizards have had two players in the All-Star Game since 2008, when Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were selected.

Though next month’s game in Los Angeles will be Wall’s fifth straight All-Star appearance, it’s the first for Beal.

I’m thrilled to compete in the All-Star game for the fifth year in a row,” Wall said. “Being able to represent the Wizards organization and Washington, D.C., during the weekend is an honor that I do not take for granted.  As always, I share this with my coaches and teammates and look forward to continuing to work together to get better.”

**FILE** Bradley Beal (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Bradley Beal (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

Wall, who is averaging 19.3 points, 9.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and a career-high 1.1 blocks per game, is the fourth player in franchise history to be selected to five or more All-Star games, joining Elvin Hayes, Gus Johnson and Wes Unseld.

In his sixth NBA season, Beal, who has started every Wizards game this season, is averaging career-highs in points (23.6), rebounds (4.3), assists (3.7) and minutes (35.9), while shooting .462 from the field. He is one of five players this season to score at least 50 points in a game, with a career-high 51 points at Portland on Dec. 5.

“It is an honor and a blessing to be able to compete in my first All-Star game,” Beal said. “I want to thank the Wizards organization, my teammates and coaches for their support. I also want to thank the great fans in D.C. who have been behind me since my rookie year. I’m looking forward to representing them in Los Angeles and working hard for them the rest the season as we improve our team.”

Under the new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, LeBron James and Stephen Curry will choose the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.

The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation. Each captain’s first four selections must come from the pool of eight remaining starters. As the top overall finisher in fan voting, James will make the first pick. The team rosters will be announced on Jan. 25.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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