IDF SOLDIERS pose with Hapoel Jerusalem basketball star Jerome Dyson during an event last season..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are very few, if any, professional basketball teams that bring the game to the fans, outside of the arena and into the community. However, Hapoel Jerusalem isn’t just any typical club.
The Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club will be hosting a free basketball clinic on the intermediate days of Sukkot that will be open to the general public and geared for both tourists and the many Anglo families that live in the Jerusalem area.
The activity will take place on Friday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the Jerusalem YMCA Sports Center located at George Washington Street 4.
The program is a perfect opportunity for the entire family, and especially children, to learn some cool basketball moves from Jerusalem’s players, along with former Israel national team and Hapoel captain Yotam Halperin. Assistant coach Ryan Pannone and Tamir Goodman will also be taking part in the free clinic.
One of the Reds’ new stars is Da’Sean Butler, who was drafted by the NBA’s Miami Heat and who also starred at West Virginia.
Butler can’t wait to meet all the fans.
“From the moment I arrived here in Israel, I witnessed the deep connection between the club and the Jerusalem community.
This clinic is another great chance for us to get to know our fans and make the upcoming season even more exciting. See you all there!” World-renowned coach Pannone is back in the Holy Land and will serve as one of the team’s assistants for the upcoming campaign. Pannone has worked with and trained many NBA stars and will be front and center in teaching the children to not only be better basketball players, but will also imbue sports values to the youngsters.
In addition, Goodman – once upon a time known as “The Jewish Jordan” – will also be on hand to work with the kids as he combines two of his passions, Judaism and basketball, to inspire the next generation.
Goodman, now 36, played professionally in Israel between 2002 and 2009 and has worked with Hapoel Jerusalem for the past five seasons.
“There’s something magical about playing basketball, the game I love and the game that can influence so many in Jerusalem. This is an incredible chance to meet and learn from professional players and coaches who are the stars of today in Israel.”
The event will also give the fans a chance to pick up a souvenir or two as the brand new 2018-2019 official merchandise will be available for purchase for the first time this season.
The special hol hamoed program will also feature the Yashar LaChayal non-profit organization, which brings soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces what they need when they need it.
Hoops for Heroes, a unique initiative with Hapoel Jerusalem, will present 16 soldiers, both those currently serving in the IDF and wounded veterans, with the opportunity to attend every one of the team’s home games from a luxury suite in the Jerusalem Pais Arena.
Hapoel Jerusalem is also a destination for many bar and bat mitzvot for families visiting from abroad and locals alike, as the celebrants have the oncein- a-lifetime opportunity to high-five the players before the game and stand on the court for “Hatikvah” with the pros.
Nefesh B’Nefesh olim are also an integral part of the basketball team as the club has introduced a ticket program specifically for new immigrants that gives them a chance to help integrate into Israeli society through sports.
Birthright groups, school trips and many others have found that attending a Jerusalem basketball game is a terrific way to experience Israel. Believe it or not, yeshivas which bring their students to attend a basketball game even get the chance to learn Torah at halftime! When was the last time you were able to do that at a sporting event in America? So come out to the Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club’s free Sukkot basketball clinic. It’s your chance to play with the best of the best and see how you stack up against the Jerusalem stars!
The writer, ‘The Sports Rabbi,’ covers Israeli sports and organizes Israeli sports adventures for tourists and residents. Follow him on Twitter @thesportsrabbi, visit sportsrabbi.com, or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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