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76ers standout Joel Embiid named ‘Rising Star’ athlete by SI

NEW YORK — Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid’s talent on the floor and colorful personality on social media has led Sports Illustrated to label him the “Rising Star” of sports.

The magazine said Wednesday it would honor Embiid with the award at its Sportsperson of the Year Awards event in New York next week.

The 7-foot Embiid has developed into a big fan favorite as the centerpiece of the 76ers’ rebuilding process. He’s struggled with injuries since playing college hoops at Kansas but has dominated on offense as the team looks to manage his playing time while contending for the first time in several seasons.

Embiid signed a $148 million, five-year extension last month that starts with the 2018-19 season. He will earn $6.1 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid gestures to the crowd after being shoved by Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Philadelphia. Mitchell was called for a technical foul on the play. Philadelphia won 107-86. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Sports Illustrated gave the same award to Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor last year.