Doron Shefer trained for Hapoel Tel Aviv for the first time on Wednesday afternoon following a surprising turn of events that led to his second comeback from retirement.
"You have a thousand questions and I have a thousand answers, but I will only speak after my first game against Hapoel Jerusalem [on January 14]," was the only thing that Shefer agreed to say to the waiting press.
Shefer, 33, retired for a second time three months ago after deciding to leave Hapoel Tel Aviv without ever playing for the reds and stay on holiday instead.
His departure left Hapoel stranded two weeks before the start of the season, after the reds had already planned their team around the Israeli legend.
Shefer claimed that he was tired of basketball, but has decided once again that he would like to play.
"Shefer asked me to return to the team and I accepted his request," said Hapoel coach Efi Berenboim.
"He will have to work hard and hopefully he will help us win. Although he left us only two weeks before the start of the season, I'm giving a second chance to a player I love, respect and cherish."
Shefer's return materialized on Tuesday after the player called Hapoel management and asked to return to the team. The team president and coach met Shefer late Tuesday night in a Tel Aviv restaurant and finalized the player's comeback.
"Hanukka is a time of miracles and one occured on Wednesday," said Hapoel president Asher Stoler after Shefer's return. "I believe his comeback will not only be good for Hapoel, but also for all of Israeli basketball."
One of Israel's all-time greatest basketball players, Shefer's first triumph came when he led Hapoel Galil Elyon in 1993 to its only championship, ending Maccabi Tel Aviv's 23 year run.
Shefer then left Galil Elyon and played for the Connecticut Huskies for three seasons. He was the first and so far the only Israeli player to be selected in the NBA draft, being picked 36th by the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers wouldn't guarantee Shefer a contract, and he was lured back to Israel by Maccabi Tel Aviv.
After winning four championships and three cups with Maccabi, Shefer shocked Israeli basketball by retiring at the age of 28.
He traveled the world after his retirement, and during his time away also recovered from a serious illness.
Shefer returned to Maccabi after two and a half years in retirement, but spent most of his time on the team's bench. After six months with Maccabi, Shefer decided to leave the yellow-and-blue for rivals Hapoel Jerusalem.
He helped to guide Jerusalem to the European ULEB Cup in his first season with the team, but his second season with Jerusalem was disappointing and he decided to leave for Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Shefer then retired for a second time without even playing for Hapoel. But he has now followed in the footsteps of his hero Michael Jordan by coming out of retirement for a second time.
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