Philadelphia, PA, November 18, 2008 – The best 72 Jewish Basketball athletes have been selected to represent the USA at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July, 2009. These men and women come from 21 states and include five professional basketball players. There will be five teams competing at the Games, including Open Men’s and Women’s, Juniors Girls’, Juniors Boys’, Youth Men’s and Masters Men’s.
All athletes were selected after competitive tryouts held throughout the country. Two athletes are from Arizona; 11 from California; one from Colorado; two from Connecticut; five from Florida; one from Iowa; four from Illinois; one from Massachusetts; two from Maryland; two from Michigan; one from Missouri; three from North Carolina; one from Nebraska; eight from New Jersey; one from Nevada; 15 from New York; one from Oregon; eight from Pennsylvania; one from Tennessee; one from Texas and two from Wisconsin. Professional athletes on the Open Women’s and Open Men’s Teams include: Jennifer Fleischer, currently playing for the Israeli National Team; Todd Golden, playing for Maccabi Haifa; Jeffrey Horowitz playing for Uppsala Basket, Sweden-Basketligan; Avi Fogel, playing for MENT, Thesalonki, Greece; and Dustin Villepigue, who recently left SLIAT Leotar, Bosnia in the European League.
There will be 11 coaches and assistant coaches leading the Teams through stiff competition at next year’s World Maccabiah Games.? The Open Men’s Team includes Head Coach Bruce Pearl of the University of Tennessee and Assistant Coach Harris Adler of LaSalle University in Philadelphia.? The Open Women’s Team includes Head Coach David Stein, an AAU Coach and Assistant Coach Emily Feldman, a student at the University of Washington in Seattle and Jewish Community Center Coach.? the Juniors Girls’ Team will be led by Head Coach Richard Slater, of Melville, NY.? The Juniors Boys’ Team will include Head Coach Brian Schiff who recently coached the USA Juniors Boys’ Basketball Team to a gold medal at the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires, December 2007.? Schiff will be supported by two assistant coaches, Daniel Gipsman of Los Angeles, CA and Harrison Singer of Ardmore, PA.? The Head Coach for the Juniors Girls’ Basketball Team is Richard Slater of East Meadow, NY.? The Men’s Youth Basketball Team will include Head Coach Scott Greenman, who played professionally with B’nei Hasharon in Israel and Assistant Coach Jordan Marks of Pittsburgh, PA.? The Masters Men’s Basketball Team will be led by Head Coach David Alelman, who coached the USA Masters Men’s Basketball Team to a gold medal at the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires.
About the organization:
Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.? The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.? As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.? They strive to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.? MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.?
“Now more than ever, we need to get involved and committed to building a proud Jewish Identity among our young people in the U.S., Israel and the Diaspora,” stated Ron Carner, General Chairman, USA Maccabiah Team. “The Maccabiah (Games) is not just about sports, but about providing for these young people a Jewish awareness of who they are, where they come from and where they are going.”
The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that takes place in Israel.? The 18th World Maccabiah Games, scheduled for July 13 – 23, 2009 will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition.? Over 9000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from six continents and over 60 countries will compete at the Games.