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Thursday April 25, 2013 Joakim Noah: NBA All-Star ... and now movie producer

Updated: 9:25am, April 25

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- However his team’s playoff series against Brooklyn goes, it’s been a milestone season for Chicago Bulls center and first-time NBA All-Star Joakim Noah.

Apparently, it’s about to be an eventful one away from the court, too.

Lenny CookeLenny Cooke now Noah, six years removed from the second of those back-to-back NCAA championships with the Gators, has teamed with former New York basketball prodigy Lenny Cooke to make a documentary film about the player’s rise to stardom (left) and crash to reality (right).

Trailers and media teasers for the film, “Lenny Cooke,” began circulating on the Internet this week. Noah played AAU ball with Cooke, the top-five national prospect and playground legend once was dubbed as the next Magic Johnson. On Wednesday, Noah tweeted out a link to the trailer (below).

“To all you young hoopers out there. This is a must see.”

The New York Times tracked down Cooke amid production of the film last year, a decade since he bypassed a chance to sign with a handful of major Division I schools (North Carolina, Ohio State, Miami, St. John's and Seton Hall were his finalists) to enter the NBA draft. Cooke went undrafted and never advanced beyond the D-League.

"Lenny has always been one of my biggest inspirations as a basketball player," Noah told The Times. "His story always reminds me to keep my eyes on the prize and to keep distractions away. ... I hope Lenny will push his story out to the next generation of kids who aspire to one day play competitive basketball at any level. ... If his story can make an impact on just one or two kids who have the opportunity to see the film, I believe we'll be making a difference.”


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