Basketball

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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Israel looks to the future

By Danny Caro, July 2, 2009

Israel will name a 12-man squad for the Under 18 Future Stars International Junior Tournament at Kingston College from July 10-12.

Coached by Danny Franco, the squad is competing at the competition for the first time. They line up in a group alongside Russia, Lithuania and Italy.

Franco said: “The event is very important to the development of Israeli basketball as we lack high level international games. Our players need better competition than they get in the Israeli league.

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Top guard Hundert goes to Plymouths

April 2, 2009

Israeli point guard Haggai Hundert is rapidly becoming a cult figure at leading British Basketball League club Airwaves Plymouth Raiders.

Hailing from Ramat Gan, Haggai, who holds British and Israeli passports, went to Oklahoma City University before signing his first professional contract for Chemosvit in Slovakia.

Standing at 6ft 2”, Hundert hopes to continue the pattern of top Jewish stars in the country and follow in the footsteps of Tamir Berkovitch, formerly of London Towers and Newcastle Eagles, and Steve Panovka.

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Immanuel boys are the Bs’ knees

March 19, 2009

Immanuel College Year 10 won the Watford and District Schools’ B League Championship. David Moss, head of PE at Immanuel, said: “However close their matches were, the team’s spirit and determination ensured victory. All seven players were outstanding, and captain Adam Schwartz and Benji Weinberger were the major point scorers for the team.”

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Net gains

February 18, 2009

Three schools claimed silverware at the Maccabi GB Secondary Schools Boys Basketball tournament at JFS.

Hasmonean were the star attraction in the Year 11 competition. They beat JFS and Immanuel College along the way. JFS finished second by virtue of beating Immanuel.

King Solomon edged home in the Years Nine and 10 event. The Essex school pipped Immanuel to the post courtesy of a single basket victory. Hasmonean finished in third.

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