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'Blackjack' Jack Ryan.

Blackjack Jack Ryan is the second athlete on my 'Losers Documentary Series.' Ryan and his story was one of eight stories featured on Netflix's sports documentary Losers.

Ryan is a streetball player from New York. Blackjack's exploits started in high school, where, as a senior, he averaged 26 points per game.

Ryan later took his game to East 5th St. Park in Brooklyn, where he mastered the tricks and shots he is known for. In his first season in a recreational league at West 4th, Ryan lit up former Detroit Piston Phil Sellers to the tune of 44 points.

Ryan is most well-known as a shooter, particularly from downtown. According to an article written by Bobbito Garcia about Ryan in a basketball magazine, former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Chris Mullin once said Jack is the best shooter he'd ever seen who hadn't played in the NBA.

Peter Vecsey got Ryan a tryout with the New Jersey Nets in 1990, but was cut which ended Ryan's NBA aspirations. In May 2003 Ryan was named as one of 'Slam Magazines Greatest Playground Ballers of All Time.'

Ryan proved he could knock down the three-point shot when he won the 2005 City wide 3-Point Shooting Championships.

According to the Harlemwizards.com web site, Ryan is a '3 Time Guinness Record Holder, ESPN 3-Point Shooting champion, Slam Magazine Playground Legend Issue, subject of a documentary on his life Release and soon to be the subject of a major studio movie.

He combines high level hoops skills, world class tricks and fun.'

According to the pix11.com web site, 'The Brooklyn native rose to stardom when he joined the Harlem Wizards in 1997. A year later he became the first white showman for the team. He's been the subject of several documentaries and was played by Justin Timberlake in the biopic Release.

As I watched the episode on Ryan in the documentary, I cringed at all the missed opportunities and the ones Ryan took for granted. If it wasn't an attitude problem, it was his drinking problem. A lot of 'shoulda, coulda and woulda' in the life of Ryan.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Apr 2, 2019
Words:422
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