Zaccharie Risacher, the projected No. 1 overall pick, has officially declared for the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft. Risacher, a 19-year-old from France, is playing on the JL Bourg team in the French LNB Elite league, averaging 10.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 23 minutes per game.

“It’s always been my dream to get to the best league in the world,” Risacher told ESPN. “I’ve been putting the work in for this since I was a kid. JL Bourg has given me an incredible opportunity to showcase what I can do.”

Risacher has played 60 games since August and is expected to play more as the French season continues through mid-May. That amount is expected to be much larger than any other player in the upcoming draft, as most prospects played a maximum of 40 games in American college basketball. Most recently, JL Bourg reached the EuroCup Finals, where Risacher shot 56% from deep and was named the tournament’s Rising Star, becoming the second-youngest player ever to win the award. He also was named to the French national team in February and is expected to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

At 6’10”, Risacher has the height of a forward or center but plays like a guard, with the ability to shoot coming off screens or the dribble. He also can guard most positions and is often asked to guard the opposing team’s best player on the court. As a tall scorer with great defensive ability, from afar, Risacher shows signs of both Kevin Durant and fellow countryman Victor Wembanyama. 

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

“There are a lot of things I can bring an NBA team,” Risacher said. First of all, my No. 1 strength is my shooting. Then, my defensive ability. And lastly, my ability to do what’s asked of me, using my versatility—I can rebound, handle the ball if needed, finish above the rim, pass the ball. Whatever you ask me to do, I will do it and do it well.”

His statistics might be lower than this year’s college basketball stars, but Risacher joined his current team in a more minor role than his previous squad. The transition was similar to that of Wembanyama, who joined a top team to gain more attention but sacrificed shots and minutes simultaneously.

Along with Risacher, Alexandre Sarr is another French prospect expected to be taken with one of the first few picks in the 2024 Draft. The 7’1″ 18-year-old played with Overtime Elite before joining the Perth Wildcats of the Australian Basketball League for their 2023-24 season. Sarr finished the year averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in only 17 minutes per game and missing almost a month with a hip injury.

With Risacher and Sarr potentially being selected with the first two overall picks, the rise of French-born basketball players is becoming increasingly evident. Ten NBA players have been born in France, including  Rudy Gobert, Nicholas Batum and Evan Fournier. But Wembanyama has quickly become the most well-known French player in the NBA and is now leading a new generation of overseas talent embodied by players like Risacher and Sarr.

The 2024 NBA Draft will take place on June 26 and 27, with the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets all with the highest odds to land the No. 1 overall pick.

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!