Zaccharie Risacher, complete set and maturity to take the NBA

It’s no secret that France is Europe’s most prolific talent pool: indeed, at the last Draft, 4 choices represented the transalpine colors, despite some of them (Ousmane Dieng in Australia, Moussa Diabate at Michigan University) did not continue their journey at home. But watch out for Zaccharie Risacher.

But it is undeniable that blues prospects are the first choice of transoceanic franchises, whether for body or athleticism, for the arsenal of fundamentals or for the ability to face competition with maturity: at this point Victor Wembanyama he is clearly the reference player, but the versatile winger could also keep him company in the next Draft Rayan Rupert (currently under the NZ Breakers, following in the footsteps of the aforementioned compatriot Dieng) e Sidy Cissokothe first European prospect to be part of the selection of the G-League Ignite.

But while the days left to the 2023 selection are counted, we are already moving towards 2024: yes, because with the flourishing French vintages it is almost obligatory to always have an eye ahead to prepare for the names that could leap onto the international scene. Pacome Dadiet and Ulm, Alexandre Sarr of the growing Overtime Elite, the Illinois committ Zachary Perrin e Ilane Fibleuil (currently on the monitor of Duke and Gonzaga) are just some of the names that could end up on scouts’ radars for next season, but the prospectus that today ends up under our magnifying glass and is testing the professional world faster than its peers is called Zaccharie Risacher.

“Z”, son of the ex-basketball player Stephane Risacher

Stephane is best remembered for being a part of Sydney 2000 Olympic selection which won the silver medal and the roster of Malaga which in 2005 scored twice between the league and the Spanish Cup (the son was born during the Andalusian period).

Zaccharie grows up with the orange ball in his hand, taking his first steps in the minibasketball sector Chalon Sur Soane already at 3 and a half years old and following his father’s games in the last years of his career. He then passes at ASVEL, at 12 years oldwhere his path in the prestigious academy black and white continues to challenge players who are increasingly older than him in youth competitions for clubs and national teams.

At a youth level it is noticed quite quickly: in 2021 he disputes a good ANGTdespite playing from under age and at the FIBA ​​Europe Challenge U16 of the same year, confirmation of the player’s all-round impact arrives. 2022 is the year of the definitive explosion and affirmation at the youth levelnarrowly missing the ANGT final and taking bronze at the U17 World Cup in Spain.

2023, the year of the breakthrough

But this year comes the turning point: coach TJ Parker calls him to the first team with the intention of waiting a bit so as not to put too much pressure on the boy. But the impact at the beginning of the season in training exceeds expectations and the coach uses it constantly between LNB and above all the EuroLegawhere he is already beginning to gain confidence.

In the current year, however, he has now entered the mentality of the pros, even if he is only in the last year of school, with days organized between high school and individual work in the morning and another two hours of field work with the group.

To come full circle, ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony recently released a first draft on the 2024 Mock Draft placing the Frenchman in no less than third place:


Modern winger of 206cm capable of playing 3-4, Zaccharie Risacher has a very wide framealthough on a muscular level it is still quite dry. He has very smooth and natural mobility, to which he adds an excellent level of coordination and body controlwhile also demonstrating flashes of great athleticism and change of pace. It definitely lacks toughnessalthough this does not seem to be a priority in his player baggage.


The modern fundamentals package helps Zaccharie Risacher stand out from other players who share his role: he demonstrates wise ball handling by acting as an added handler, with good ball control and protection, while also proving to have considerable knowledge of the game between vision and intelligent passing. Surely the most prominent point concerns the shot thanks to a very advanced and soft mechanics and release for a player of his age with an already quite high confidence in hitting from any position both from a standstill and from the dribble (to be slightly improved behind the arc, raising the release a little).


With a modern physique and a thoroughness in the technical package, he already demonstrates an offensive maturity in putting his means at the service of the team that probably has no one for his age: always look for the best solution to facilitate or complete actions, paying attention to what happens on the field and demonstrating a conscientious decision-making playing as a “fake guard” added.

He can make the difference even away from the ball, reading the opponent’s spacing to slip inside and set a target for his teammates. His strength is sometimes also his greatest flaw in terms of personality: he shows little leadership/aggression, sometimes he even seems too shy in blocking or retreating in the face of the first resistance of its defender, without risking further. This seems to lead him to trust his teammates much more than himself, probably so as not to monopolize the game. However, it is important for him to begin to gather courage to take an important mental step in terms of production, impact and the ability to make a difference.


I improvements for Zaccharie Risacher they could come not only in terms of offensive versatility, but also in his own half: Thanks to his quick defensive stance and ample foundation with his legs, he can cover enough space to deny easy 1v1s to his opponents, sometimes reacting quickly with his hands to disrupt or steal the ball. Not only can he act as a switch defender on multiple positions (2-3-4), but he controls the game and communicates with his teammates away from the ball, with aids under the backboards to block or contest rebounds.

In short, we are dealing with a very desirable player for today’s NBA: gifted, intelligent, remarkable on both sides of the court, potentially a versatile two-way player who is a rarity in today’s basketball. To this he adds a very trainable character: calm and polite inside and outside the rectangle, he pays attention to the coaches’ indications and tries to get the best out of his work, silencing the negative things about his expectations. What more could you want now? We can only enjoy Zaccharie Risacher’s acclimatization process, waiting for the leap in quality for next year.


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