Basketball fans will be able to see a film about Jackie Ryan very soon. According to Deadline, Gravitas Ventures claimed the distribution rights to Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story, which will be a biopic based on the life and career of the street basketball player from New York. The film will star Greg Finley as Ryan, as well as David Arquette, Brandon Thomas Lee, Ashley Greene, Robert Davi, Bo Dietl, and James Madio. The film is scheduled to be released in October in limited theatres. It will then be released worldwide.
Danny A. Abeckaser directed Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story and revealed how excited he is about telling the story about a legendary basketball player. "I can't wait for people to see this film, which was a true passion project," Abeckaser said to Deadline. "We spent two years working on the movie behind the scenes and finished production this past fall. To be able to finally debut it on the big screen with Gravitas as our partner, is beyond exciting." Abeckaser worked closely with Ryan on the film, which also features cameos from Michael Rapaport, Sean Avery, Ben Lyons, and The Harlem Wizards.
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Ryan, 58, is from Brooklyn, New York and gained a lot of attention while attending John Jay High school. He would later take his game to East 5th St. Park in Brooklyn where he mastered his craft in street basketball. Ryan is known for his three-point shooting, and former NBA star Chris Mullin once described Ryan as the best shooter he'd ever seen who hadn't played in the league. Back in 2013, Uproxx ranked the 25 best streetball players of all-time and Ryan came in at No. 19. He currently tours across the country showing off his basketball skills.
''In my 35 years in basketball," Pete Coakley, Ryan's coach at John Jay High School in Brooklyn, said to the New York Times in 2003. ''Jack was the best high school player I ever had — one of the best I ever saw — and the biggest disappointment. He was totally talented and totally wild. But basically, he disappointed everyone who tried to help him in those days."