January 02, 2024
Wauconda’s Grace Parker, whose aunt Melissa played at Illinois, continues to establish her own identity
Wauconda’s Grace Parker isn’t afraid of reaching higher. The junior guard/forward is aiming to make a name for herself in the Northern Lake County Conference and beyond. Advertisement “I want to be the leading scorer in the conference,” Grace Parker said. “I also want the team to win the conference, am hoping to get some colleges looking at me and want to make a good run in the playoffs.” The 5-foot-9 Grace Parker, who is averaging 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals for the Bulldogs (9-4, 5-0), has a good role model as she tries to achieve her goals. Advertisement Her aunt Melissa Parker led Elgin to the 1996 Class AA state championship game, was a four-year starter at Illinois and was an assistant at Florida State, Loyola and Northern Illinois. She was inducted into the Illinois basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a player in 2014. “My aunt sends me videos and drills to do,” Grace Parker said. “She has helped me by always supporting me and giving me confidence. She has been coming to my games ever since I was young. She has always been there for me, whether it was basketball or life advice.” Grace Parker said her aunt’s success in basketball inspires her. “Her success motivates me to keep working and just know that it’s all worth it,” Grace Parker said. Grayslake North’s Lucy Roscoe, left, tries to protect the ball from Wauconda’s Grace Parker during a Northern Lake County Conference game in Grayslake on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Rob Dicker/News-Sun) Melissa Parker said she gets chills watching Grace play. “I think Grace is kind of her own person,” Melissa Parker said. “She has always been that way, which is fantastic, so I let her try to experience what she could without too much pressure. There is that history, but I let her play her game. But when I see something, I try to encourage her to play as hard as she can and enjoy the moment.” Grace Parker showed she could score last season, when she averaged 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals and was named all-conference. But Wauconda coach Jaime Dennis stressed that it was important to add more elements to her game, particularly on the defensive end. “Grace always had a knack for offense, and that’s been her favorite, but we pushed her the last couple of years to step up on defense,” Dennis said. “We wanted her to be as valuable on that end of the floor. She’s starting to do that.” Advertisement Melissa Parker said she has noticed a significant difference in Grace’s game this season. Lake County News-Sun Twice-weekly News updates from Lake County delivered every Monday and Wednesday By submitting your email to receive this newsletter, you agree to our Subscriber Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy . > “I think she’s always been offensive-minded — so was I — but I definitely think this year she’s trying to become that all-around player between getting defensive stops, getting steals and focusing on rebounds,” Melissa Parker said. “She realizes with defensive rebounds that she can start her own play.” Wauconda’s Grace Parker (11) puts up a shot against Grayslake North’s Reagan Kuzynowski (4) during a Northern Lake County Conference game in Grayslake on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Rob Dicker/News-Sun) Grace Parker recorded 47 points, 18 rebounds and nine steals in four games at the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic at McHenry. “Defensive intensity is contagious, and I’ve seen how it helps the team and can translate into fast breaks to score,” she said. “It’s changed my game because I have more opportunities to get more assists and points. “Getting easy steals can give me fast layup opportunities. boxing out gives me more putback chances to score and gives the team more time to run our offense and get points. ... I’ve been much more comfortable on the court this year. Giving 100% on offense and defense helps me as a player and helps the team as a whole.” Grace Parker, who is also involved in three clubs at Wauconda, isn’t satisfied. Advertisement “My role on the court is to lead by example and contribute whatever the team needs to be successful,” she said. “I put a lot of work in off the court and in the preseason. I’m constantly learning, practicing and pushing my limits.” Bobby Narang is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.
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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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