Just a few short years ago, South Florida's own Oscar Isaac was an unknown, handsome Guatemalan actor appearing in bit parts in films like All About the Benjamins and in Law & Order episodes. It seemed as if Isaac were headed toward the type of career most from around these parts end up with: that of a lifetime extra who eventually ends up in daytime soaps or out of the business altogether. But the Juilliard-trained thespian is too talented to keep down, and he was soon cast as Joseph in The Nativity, which led to a role as King John in Robin Hood, which led the Coen Brothers to cast him in Inside Llewyn Davis. At this point, it appeared as if Isaac was on his way to a career as an indie actor, starring in artsy films. But Isaac's talent is way too large to box in. Now, he's appearing in blockbuster Hollywood tentpole epics in notable roles such as the villain in X-Men: Apocalypse and, most remarkably, as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (as well as the ensuing films in that series). In just a few short years, Isaac has gone from unknown extra to action figure. Not bad for a South Florida boy.

John deGroot is a retired Sun Sentinel reporter who now lives in Wilton Manors. He has a Pulitzer Prize. He knows when politicians, public servants, and criminals need to be brought to justice with a sharp, written critique. He also knows it's often quicker and easier to hit a man in the face with a pie. Say what you want about the embattled, limping Broward Health system, but former CEO Nabil El-Sanadi's January 23 suicide was tragic. So when outspoken Broward Health critic Dan Lewis disparaged El-Sanadi, deGroot's friend, in a Sun Sentinel obituary the day after the doctor died, deGroot drove to Publix — it has everything! — and bought a $7.99 berry cream pie. He then threw it at Lewis in public. Revenge is a dish best served a la mode.

The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh has always been counted out and under-appreciated, maybe because he's not your typical menacing, cliche-ridden pro athlete. Yet throughout South Florida sports history, there have been few athletes as beloved as Bosh. He's not only a phenomenal talent — and key cog that helped the Heat win two NBA championships — he's also proved to be a lovable character with his GIF-able facial expressions, his post-game interview shenanigans, and his love of things like coding, playing guitar, and learning how to speak Spanish. So when he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs last season, fans and teammates alike were devastated — not only because the team had lost a tremendous talent for the season, but also because Bosh is a genuinely likable dude who was suddenly facing a very serious health threat. As it turns out, Bosh's condition hospitalized him for several weeks. Then, doctors told him he couldn't travel on planes for a while. The physical punishment an NBA player undergoes also made things risky. Everyone was concerned that they had seen the last of Bosh, that his promising career had been cut short. But at the beginning of the 2016 season, in true Bosh style, he not only returned — he pretty much picked up right where he had left off. His silky smooth shots hit their marks, his defense helped the Heat shut down opponents, and his overall presence breathed new life into the home team. As fate would have it, he was knocked out again with blood clots. But Bosh continues to fight back, showing up at Heat practice, posting videos of himself shooting hoops, and announcing that he has no intentions of retiring. No matter what happens from this point on in his career, Bosh has proven on and off the court that he is the ultimate underdog. A man who should never be counted out. A man who will kill you with his jump shot, then make a goofy face at the camera. Because he can.

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