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Anda Ramat Hasharon will make basketball history next year when it takes on the WNBA's Washington Mystics in an exhibition on May 13. The Israeli State Cup holders will become the first European team to take on a WNBA side.
The game, which will also mark the Israeli giants' 20th anniversary, will take place at the end of Ramat Hasharon's season and will serve as a preseason tuneup for Washington.
Anda chairwoman Rachel Ostrowitz and coach Orna Ostfeld met with Mystics president Sheila Johnson in Washington to pound out the organizational details where they decided that all proceeds from the game will be divided among women's charities in America and Israel.
The Israeli embassy in Washington had a hand in arranging the encounter as part of its effort to present Israel in a different light.
Ostrowitz said that she hopes the game can become an annual tradition. "Anda Ramat Hasharon was the first team to bring in WNBA players 10 years ago and it is an honor to be the first team to play an official exhibition in the United States to start the WNBA season."
WNBA president Donna Orender has also pledged her support for the game. In a statement released by Anda Ramat Hasharon, Orender, who recently met with Ostrovic and Ostfeld, said: "I'm proud of the special connection between Anda Ramat Hasharon and the Washington Mystics, two teams that are very successfully managed by women."
Orender, who is Jewish, added that she hoped to visit Israel during the upcoming season.
Two players from the Mystics current roster should be familiar to Israeli fans - ex-Anda center Chasity Melvin and former Ramla forward Crystal Robinson.