Portland, OR

Friday in Portland: Rising Portland basketball star portrays young LeBron James in upcoming film "Shooting Stars"

Emily Scarvie

Photo by(Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, March 31 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Suspect sought in violent attacks, robberies in Portland

Photo by(Portland Police Bureau)

Portland police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man believed to be connected to a series of violent robberies and attacks that occurred in March. The first happened on March 13 near the corner of Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street. Portland police say the man struck another man with a golf club, poured hot coffee on him and stomped his head while he was on the ground. The attacker then grabbed the man’s backpack before running away.

The following morning, just before 2:45 a.m., officers responded to a reported assault and found an unconscious man on the sidewalk near West Burnside Street and Southwest 5th Avenue. Officers later determined he was robbed and assaulted by the same person as the prior attack.

The suspect is described as being in his 20s, about 6 feet tall and weighing 185 pounds. Surveillance footage shows him wearing glasses and having a beard. Anyone who sees him should immediately call 911 and avoid approaching him.

Anyone that recognizes the suspect or has information is asked to contact Detective Matt Brown at matthew.brown@police.portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-0859, and reference case number 23-65725.

2. Rising Portland basketball star plays young LeBron James in upcoming movie

Portland’s very own rising basketball star, Marquis “Mookie” Cook, has been casted to play a younger version of NBA superstar LeBron James in the upcoming film “Shooting Stars.” The film is based on James’ and Pulitzer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger’s 2009 autobiography of the same name. The first trailer for the film dropped earlier this week.

The book focuses on the humble beginnings of James’ basketball career and his three childhood friends becoming the number one high school basketball team in the country. “Shooting Stars” is set in the 1990s in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Cook, the former Jefferson High School five-star forward, recently recommitted to playing basketball for the Oregon Ducks 2023 incoming class after de-committing back in June. He received nearly 30 offers during his recruitment with schools. He played with James’ son Bronny on the West team in boys’ All-American game this past March. Cook was scouted by James’ team in 2019 after a nationwide search for the role.

3. Cherry blossoms are in peak bloom around Portland

It’s spring time and cherry blossoms are in peak bloom around Portland. Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown is a favorite destination, but there are several other places to spot the cherry trees in bloom before they’re gone.

Peak blossom is defined as the point when at least 70% of the blossoms have emerged. The date varies year to year, but typically runs between mid-March and early April. Weather can impact how long the blossoms stay on trees.

Aside from Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portlanders can see cherry blossoms at Hoyt Arboretum, Mt. Tabor, Laurelhurst Park and the Portland Japanese Garden.

There are also lots of other floral events this spring, including the Rhododendron Show & Sale, the Trillium Festival, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and Spring on the Farm.

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