Basketball

Arik Shivek to share Israel role

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Arik Shivek was yesterday announced as the new coach of Israel’s men’s basketball team, after the Israel Basketball Association allowed him to take up the role in a part-time capacity.

The 53-year-old, who agreed personal terms with the IBA last week, is currently the coach of Belgian club Dexia Mons-Hainaut, a position he will continue to hold as Israel boss.

His appointment was approved by IBA’s professional committee on Monday and he was officially named as Tzvika Sherf’s replacement when the IBA board ratified the decision yesterday.

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Casspi’s a big hit in the NBA

By Simon Griver, December 3, 2009

Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi has established himself as one of the NBA’s most outstanding rookies.

Earlier this week, Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, scored a personal record 18 points as the Kings beat the New Jersey Nets 109-96. The Kings had been expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA but Casspi’s good form helped them end November with a respectable eight wins from 16 games.

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NBA coach Nancy inspired by Muhammed Ali

By Danny Caro, November 12, 2009

The NBA’s first female head coach spoke this week of how Muhammad Ali inspired her to reach the top.

Nancy Lieberman, 51, the first woman to play pro basketball with men, has been placed in charge of Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Development League.

Speaking exclusively from her home in Plano,Texas, she said she saw the world heavyweight champ on TV when she was nine.

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First lady Lieberman appointed Mavericks head coach

By Danny Caro, November 6, 2009

Nancy Lieberman has become the first female head coach of an NBA basketball team.

The first women to play pro basketball with men, Lieberman has taken charge of the Dallas Mavericks’ affiliate in the NBA Development League, which will tip off next November.

Lieberman said: “I feel like I'm the right person for the job. “I know how these guys feel. I played in the minor leagues. I’m ultimately connected to that part of development in a player’s life.”

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Omri Casspi: first victory in the NBA

By Simon Griver, November 5, 2009

Omri Casspi tasted victory for the first time in the NBA earlier this week as the Sacramento Kings beat Memphis Grizzlies 127-116 in extra time.

The rookie forward scored 15 points and was also complimented by Kings coach Paul Westphal for his strong defensive play.

The former Maccabi Tel Aviv player was not in the starting five but spent 30 minutes on the court and scored crucial points.

Last week Casspi, 21, became the first Israeli to play in the NBA, also scoring 15 points on the opening day of the season in the 102-89 defeat to Oklahoma.

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Financial scandals rock Israeli sports

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2009

A suicide that was seen last Monday simply as a personal and family tragedy has swiftly developed into a storm engulfing not only Israel’s most successful basketball team, but the entire sporting establishment.

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Israel ousted at Eurobasket

By Danny Caro, September 10, 2009

Israel capped A disappointing EuroBasket campaign with a third straight defeat, going down 106-80 defeat to Greece in Poznan, Poland. This followed losses against Croatia and Macedonia.

The Greece result completed a disastrous three days in Poland and means that for the first time in 25 European Championship appearances, it has finished a tournament without a victory.

“I knew this would be a difficult championship, but I expected us to play better,” said coach Tzvika Sherf. “We should have beaten both Croatia and Macedonia, but we failed when it mattered most."

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Silver lining for Israel

By Danny Caro, August 17, 2009

Israel were runners-up at the Game On quadrangular tournament at the 02.

They were beaten 85-69 by eventual winners Turkey in their opening fixture but improved as the competition wore on, beating Poland 86-72 and whipping boys Great Britain 79-69.

The competition was a warm-up for the forthcoming Eurobasket.

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King Casspi setting NBA targets high

By Danny Caro, August 13, 2009

Omri Casspi has explained why he is putting club before country after ruling himself out for Israel at next month’s Eurobasket competition.

Casspi, 21, recently became the first Israeli to join the NBA after signing a three-year contract with the Sacramento Kings, worth $3.5 million.

Ranked 23 in the draft, he hopes to put Israeli basketball on the map in America.

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It’s a first for Casspi

By Simon Griver, July 2, 2009

Omri Casspi is the first Israeli to be chosen in the first round of the NBA draft. The 6ft 9” forward was selected in 23rd place by the Sacramento Kings.

Four other Israelis were previously selected in the second round of the draft but did make a single appearance in the NBA.

Maccabi Tel Aviv star Casspi described the news as “a dream come true. It is a great day for me, my family and Israeli basketball.”

In America to negotiate his contract, Casspi, 21, surprised officials by choosing the number 13 shirt - his lucky number.

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