November 26, 2023
30 Colorado high school boys basketball players to watch in 2023-24 CHSAA season
: A volume scorer who’s at his best attacking defenses off the dribble, the 5-foot-10 guard turned in a breakout sophomore campaign with averages of 18.1 points, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. After anpther offseason of growth, another leap could be next. : The reigning 5A player of the year tilts the court with a seemingly limitless reservoir of energy, blowing up opponents’ sets on one end as a defensive pest (5.3 spg) and picking them apart on the other as a scorer (27.2 ppg) and facilitator (5.3 apg). Already at 1,509 career points entering this season, 2,000 appears inevitable. : A crafty, efficient finisher around the basket, the 6-foot-9 Barger (12.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg) helped lead the Raptors to the Sweet 16 as an underclassman. With fellow junior LaDavian King as a running mate, Eaglecrest is ready to take the next step. : The 6-foot-6 wing got thrown into the deep end as a freshman last year and thrived for a Great 8 team. Part of a talented, athletic young core that includes juniors Lorenzo Contreras and Kaylan Graham, he’s one of many reasons Smoky remains a 6A contender after the departure of leading scorers Rickey Mitchell and Kai McGrew. : A go-to scorer for a Jeffco League title squad as a sophomore (13.1), the 6-foot-4 wing has a deep bag of tricks on the offensive end with the ability to knock down shots from range (41% from 3-point range) and attack the basket off the dribble. : Among the deadliest shooters in the state, the 6-foot-1 Braketa sank 43% from 3 and 88% from the free-throw line en route to surpassing 1,000 career points by the end of his sophomore year. But as his career averages (20.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg) attest, he’s far from one-trick pony. : One half of Lutheran’s formidable twin towers frontcourt — 6-foot-9 sophomore Kade Spechman being the other — the 6-foot-10 Caldwell has the size to finish around the rim and the outside touch to punish opponents who dare leave him open from deep. : After a breakout junior season that saw him put up averages of 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, the 6-foot-3 guard is the primary reason the Wolverines are expected to rebound after a first-round exit in last year’s state playoffs. : The consensus No. 1 senior in the state, the 6-foot-6 CU commit leaves no aspect of the game untouched. A high-level scorer (19.7 ppg), rebounder (11.0 rpg) and defender (1.8 bpg, 1.4 spg) with vision (6.3 apg), Crawford is the centerpiece of a long and deep T-Ridge squad that enters the season as the team to beat in 6A. : The Pumas submitted their winningest season in 11 years last winter thanks in large part to the talents of Eschmeyer, a 6-foot-7 wing who pairs elite rim protection (4.0 bpg) with a diverse offensive skillset (13.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) that belies his size. : A supporting player on the Buffs’ Great 8 squad last year, Gasaway (9.1 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.4 spg) and fellow senior Kevin Sylla, a 6-foot-8 post, are ready for bigger roles on a team with even bigger aspirations. : Hellem’s blend of athleticism and shot-making makes the 5-foot-9 guard a tough cover. With shooting splits of 53% from the field, 49% from 3 and 81% at the free-throw line last year, the 14.8-point-per-game scorer will be counted on to keep last season’s 5A runners-up competitive after the exodus of a strong senior class. : A deadeye shooter (career 39% from 3-point range) capable of creating shots for himself (20.0 ppg) and others (3.5 apg), the 4A all-state returnee is the offensive centerpiece of a Lions team eyeing a state title after last year’s run to the Final Four. : A second-team all-state pick with averages of 20.8 points, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals last season, the 6-foot senior has helped transform TV into a 5A contender as a three-level scorer who’s more than capable of holding his own on the defensive end. : Long, athletic and skilled at 6-foot-4, Jallow can swallow up shots at the rim (2.2 bpg), punish defenders off the dribble or in the paint (13.2 ppg, 1.9 apg) and clean up the glass (8.1) with a well-rounded, two-way game. : After playing second fiddle to all-state big man Luke Wagstaff last winter, the 6-foot-1 King gets center stage for a Lambkins program fresh off a Great 8 trip. If last year’s production is any indication (18.5 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.0 spg), a starring role should suit him just fine. : Shifty and decisive with the ball in his hands, the second-team 6A all-state selection (17.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.2 apg) enters his third varsity season as a seasoned, capable leader for a Raptors team loaded for a run at the Denver Coliseum. : Committed to Dartmouth Football as a wide receiver, the 6-foot-1 point guard with a heady all-around game (22.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 6.9 apg, 4.6 spg, 1.1 bpg last winter) could’ve just as easily hooped at the next level, too. : Given a leading role as a sophomore, Nettles proved to be a smooth operator for the Huskies with averages of 18.5 points and 4.3 assists on 44% shooting. Throw in some pesky on-ball defense (3.3 spg) and there’s a lot to like. : The Bison enter the season with great expectations as the , thanks in large part to a loaded senior class led by 6-foot-3 guard Alante Monroe-Elazier and the 6-foot-10 Polk. : Sidelined for the second half of his sophomore year, Rhoades-Martinez returns ready to pick up where he left off. Between playing passing lanes and harassing ball-handlers (5.1 spg) and running the show on the offensive end (16.0 ppg, 5.6 apg), the 6-foot point guard’s two-way impact is immense. : After quarterbacking the Grizzlies football team to the 4A quarterfinals this past fall, the 5-foot-11 all-state selection is back to defend the 5A boys basketball crown he helped win as Mesa Ridge’s unflappable point guard (13.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.5 spg). : The other half of Mesa Ridge’s all-Riehl, all-state backcourt, Tevin is an accomplished multi-sport athlete himself. Armed with a feathery outside shooting touch (46% career on 3s), playmaking ability (14.1 ppg. 4.2 apg) and strong defensive instincts (2.5 spg), the elder Riehl complements younger bro’s steady hand perfectly. : The leading scorer (15.6 ppg), shot-creator (5.0 apg) and defensive pest (2.2 spg) for last year’s 6A Great 8 team, the 6-foot-2 Scherer enters his third varsity season with 1,000 career points in sight and a chance to make even more noise at Denver Coliseum on the table. : Strong, deliberate and instinctual on the ball, the 6-foot-5 left-handed wing is a talented scorer (21.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) who has no problem finishing in traffic, pulling up from deep or using his size to punish defenders in the post. : A complementary piece (12.8 ppg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg) opposite TaRea Fulcher in last year’s Raiders backcourt, the 5-foot-11 Taylor will take on a bigger role this winter as Regis looks to reload after a dream run to the 6A Final Four. : There will be no step back for Rock Canyon following the graduation of all-everything point guard Gavin Hershberger. Not with the 6-foot-4 Terry (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg) and a deep senior class ready to fill the void. : Agile, active and skilled at 6-foot-6, Thomason is an all-court menace (13.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.5 spg, 1.0 bpg) for a Wildcats team that returns every major contributor from last year’s 21-3 squad. : The 3A triple jump and high jump champ last spring, the 6-foot-2 Wenger is a leaper of the highest order. With a smooth shooting stroke, tight handle and high-energy game, the returning 4A all-state pick (19.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.1 spg) is no slouch on the basketball court, either. : From his textbook stroke (41% on 3s, 92% on free throws) to his calm presence and high basketball IQ (3.7 assists to 1.6 turnovers/game), Ty is in many ways a mirror image of his dad, Cougars head coach and former CSU star Ryan Yoder. With 6-foot-11 Metro State commit Jacob Baker manning the paint, and 6-3 junior Cade Crutcher providing another weapon on the wing, he may soon be a state champion, as well. * All stats taken from .
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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