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Over his storied four-decade plus career, Producer Mark Johnson has typically specialized in character-driven films. Just a quick run-through of his resume reveals gems like Diner, Tin Men, Rain Man (for which Johnson won an Academy Award), Bugsy, A Perfect World (a personal favorite of mine), Donnie Brasco, Ballast, and Logan Lucky, just to name […]


By: David Phillips
Title: Producer Mark Johnson on Bringing ‘The Holdovers’ and Character-Driven Films to Theaters
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Published Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2023 21:41:34 +0000

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Baller Awards

Exclusive Clip: ‘Wild Wild Space’ Thrillingly Highlights the Wildly Changing Space Race Landscape

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Awards Daily presents a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary Wild Wild Space. Directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman (“Born Into Brothels”), this fascinating documentary highlights the high-stakes race between companies looking to launch satellite-carrying rockets into low orbit. We see not only the thrills of genuine ingenuity and brilliance at work but also the […]


By: Clarence Moye
Title: Exclusive Clip: ‘Wild Wild Space’ Thrillingly Highlights the Wildly Changing Space Race Landscape
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Published Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2024 20:00:53 +0000

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‘The Umbrella Academy’s 10 Best Powers, Ranked


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The final timeline in The Umbrella Academy is here, with the fourth and final season dropping on Netflix on August 8, 2024. The Hargreeves siblings are up against another apocalypse. After the Season 3 cliffhanger, fans are anxious to see how theyll handle it. With one of the Hargreeves siblings possibly being the key to fixing the timeline, the stakes are even higher this season.


By: Dyah Ayu Larasati
Title: ‘The Umbrella Academy’s 10 Best Powers, Ranked
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Published Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2024 21:50:13 GMT

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Atlanta Hawks No. 1 pick Zaccharie Risacher has always had basketball in his life

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LAS VEGAS – Atlanta Hawks rookie forward Zaccharie Risacher has taken a lot of inspiration from French basketball players. Tony Parker was a four-time NBA champion and NBA Finals MVP in 2007. Rudy Gobert is a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Victor Wembanyama preceded Risacher as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft in 2023.

For Risacher, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, however, his top basketball role model has always been Olympic silver medalist Stéphane Risacher, who is also his proud father.

“That was the first player I ever watched,” Risacher said. “When I started to grow and I got my first iPad and iPhone, I would go to watch my father’s highlights on YouTube.”

“Those words means a lot. Basketball has been so present in our lives since the very beginning,” Stéphane Risacher told Andscape.

Risacher, 19, was selected as the 2023-24 French League Best Young Player after averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds last season for JL Bourg of France’s LNB Élite league. Risacher is one of four international players in NBA draft history selected No. 1 overall.

With his parents Stéphane and Sandrine in attendance, Risacher debuted in the NBA summer league Friday night against the Washington Wizards, scoring a team-high 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 29 minutes. On Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, Risacher had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 30 minutes. The Hawks play next against rookie Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, and the Lakers on Wednesday (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.).

“I try to play the way we want me to play,” Risacher said after Friday’s game. “So, like I said before during the draft process, I’m ready to do whatever the coaches want me to do. So, if the coach wants me to take 3s, I’m going to take 3s. And if he wants to be aggressive, I’m gonna be aggressive and that’s just a part of a player that I am.”

Risacher talked about his father’s influence July 25, a day before the NBA draft in Brooklyn, New York. And while his father never played in the NBA, he certainly made a name for himself as a pro basketball player in Europe.

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Pau-Orthez forward Stéphane Risacher (right) drives to the basket against Le Mans during the France ProA basketball championship on Dec. 11, 1999.

PASCAL BATS/AFP via Getty Images

Stéphane Risacher began his pro career in 1987 at 17, playing with his older brother, Marc, with the French Stade Clermontois BA in France. Stéphane Risacher had a very successful 23-year pro basketball career, playing primarily in France and in Greece and Spain. The six-time French League All-Star also won a Spanish National Cup and Greek National Cup and played in EuroLeague action during eight seasons.

“My first year I was able to play with my brother and the second year I switched teams and we were in the same division,” Stéphane Risacher, 51, said. “So, I played against my brother and then I was very fortunate to move up from one team to a bigger team every contract until I went to play for a bigger [opportunity]. I was able to leave France and play for Olympiacos and then in Spain for Malaga. So, I do not have any kind of regret.”

Stéphane Risacher played for France on various levels 10 times. The global highlight of his basketball career took place during the 2000 Sydney Games. He also was on the floor for perhaps the greatest dunk of all time.

Stéphane Risacher played for France when they won a 2000 Olympic silver medal after losing to a USA team that included Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett and other NBA stars in the gold medal game. Risacher also played against USA when Carter stunningly jumped over 7-foot-2 Frenchman Frederic Weis for a remarkable storybook jam. That often replayed dunk came after a wild behind-the-back pass from French forward Yann Bonato to Risacher was stolen.

“I had a chance to have a dunk on the other end, but the pass was stolen,” Risacher said with a smile.

Stéphane Risacher said he never had dreams of playing in the NBA, although there was one opportunity with the Toronto Raptors. In 2001, he said, he participated in Toronto Raptors veterans camp. He said Carter, then a Raptors star forward, remembered him and approached him warmly after one of the workouts. However, he wasn’t signed by the Raptors or any other NBA team.

“What I remember is that I felt very good about it. Everything went very well, I thought,” Stéphane Risacher said. “But it’s not that I have any regrets because at the very beginning as a kid, the NBA was not even in my mind. I didn’t think this possibility could exist for me.”

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Atlanta Hawks rookie forward Zaccharie Risacher (right) with his father Stéphane Risacher (left) in Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks

Zaccharie Risacher was born on April 8, 2005, in Malaga, Spain. His father was playing for Baloncesto Málaga in Spain at the time. His parents recall their son being intrigued by basketball at just 5 months old as he watched his father from warmups to the final buzzer of his games.

“I was able to take Zaccharie to the matinee games on Sunday and he would sit on my lap. He would sit there quietly watching the game, moving his head back and forth just like he was watching a tennis match,” Sandrine Risacher said.

Stéphane Risacher said his son “grew up in the gym from the very beginning.” He placed his son in a baby carriage in the gym during his basketball workouts late in his career, and he loved to dunk a small basketball on a children’s indoor hoop as an infant.

“We used to have an apartment in Paris when I played before I left France, right behind the gym where my team used to play,” Stéphane Risacher said. “So, I got the keys and I was going to practice by myself in the small gym. And once Zacc was 1½, 2 years old, when we were coming back this summer, he was coming in the gym with me every day. So, from as far as we remember, there been a basketball in his life. There was a very, very small one before he was even able to walk. We have pictures showing him grabbing the wall to make a dunk with a small goal.”

Risacher was 5 years old when his father’s pro basketball career ended in 2010, when Stéphane Risacher was playing for Élan Chalon in Chalon-sur-Saône, France.

“I was young when he was playing for Malaga [Spain] and Chalon-sur-Saône,” Risacher said. “I wanted to be in the gym to remember him on the court.”

The Risachers’ offseason home in Lyon, France, had a basketball goal in the backyard, where the kids loved to play. Stéphane Risacher said that he played basketball-themed games with his son and daughter, Ainhoa, when they were infants. Ainhoa, 17, is a member of France’s 2023 FIBA Under-16 Women’s European Championship team and also plays for Lyon ASVEL Feminin.

“I remember I used to roll a pair of socks, maybe Zacc was 5 or 6 months. And we used to play ‘Prepare your hands,’ ” Stéphane Risacher said. “You throw the pair of socks and you see your baby grab the socks. The name of the game was prepare you [to catch and pass]. So, you’re teaching them how to catch a basketball. That’s the first lesson, man. They thought it was just a game. I was able to trick them.

“Everything has to be a game. But you need to translate very serious things into a game and find a way to make it feels like we are playing. But, yeah, behind this you can hide some very serious concepts into a game and kids can learn everything very easily.”

Risacher also tried soccer, volleyball and track and field. Even with his father’s basketball influence, he said, basketball naturally was always foremost in his heart. And when he was 9, his father came to believe that his son was truly in love with the game.

“He’s coming back from practice at 9 years old and he said he’s pissed off because he missed a left-hand layup,” Stéphane Risacher said. “And two hours before next practice he is going directly to the back of the yard and making jab steps and left-hand layups for an hour and a half before practice. And it’s not because we said anything. It’s just because he was pissed off the day before because he missed the layup.”

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Atlanta Hawks forward Zaccharie Risacher dunks the ball during the game against the Washington Wizards on July 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hawks and NBA will learn a lot about Risacher’s talent during summer league and his rookie season. And in his play, he believes you will also see a lot of his father’s game.

“I was looking [at his highlights] and that was basically everything he taught me,” Risacher said. “That’s the perfect way to do it. I remember telling myself that is the way I want to play to be great.”

Stéphane Risacher did say he had one regret during his French Basketball Hall of Fame career. He didn’t enjoy his success as it was taking place. And his main advice to the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA draft is to take the time to savor his accolades.

“I remember as a player always trying to analyze things,” Stéphane Risacher said. “And in my basketball life, if I achieved this, I want to be prepared for what was next. And finally, at the end, I feel there are things that I could have enjoyed more in the moment. You got to be able to have the right to tell you to be happy at the right moment when you achieve something, because it’s good for your brain and your health. And you cannot pass to other things without sitting down and enjoying the moment.

“When things comes about Zaccharie, I try also to teach him you have right to be happy and to be proud of yourself and then you go back to work, and think about the daily work and have a what’s next strategy about objectives and about how you’re going to handle things. But enjoy the moment.”


By: Marc J. Spears
Title: Atlanta Hawks No. 1 pick Zaccharie Risacher has always had basketball in his life
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Published Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2024 15:04:10 +0000

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