Historic Moment As Aussie Ben Simmons Picked In NBA All-Star Game

He's the reigning NBA rookie of the year and now he's an All-Star

Ben Simmons has done what no Aussie has done before. On February 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 22-year-old Melbourne native will play in the NBA All-Star game.

Australians have previously played in the NFL Pro Bowl and the MLB (baseball) All-Star game. But now we've got our first man in basketball's mid-season showpiece game for the best players in the league.

America's NBA is broken into two conferences -- the Eastern and the Western. Traditionally, the All-Star game was east versus west. A battle of geography. Simple.

Last year it changed.

The game now features one player from each conference who serves as captain. They pick players from the initial list of 24 players, which Simmons has made (12 from each conference).

So it ends up being just 12 really talented guys versus 12 really talented guys -- rather than a match which even pretends to prove which half of America currently has the best players.

But it's entertaining as heck and that's all that matters.

The next big moment for Simmons is to find out which captain picks him.

That happens on February 8 and he'll be hoping LeBron James gives him the nod as a teammate, to back up the congratulations he offered on Twitter.