Honoring the memory of an Israeli hoops icon

Marking a year to legendary coach's death, family and Ruppin Academic Center announce the establishment of The Ralf Klein Foundation for the Advancement of Athletes.

August 7, 2009 05:20
Honoring the memory of an Israeli hoops icon

Ralph klein 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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A year after the passing of Ralf Klein, the legendary coach's family and the Ruppin Academic Center announced this week the establishment of The Ralf Klein Foundation for the Advancement of Athletes. Widely regarded as Israel's greatest basketball coach, Klein passed away last year at the age of 77 following a long battle with cancer. The foundation will award scholarships to athletes at the Ruppin Academic Center, with newly retired pole-vaulter Alex Averbukh set to be the first recipient. Businessman Udi Angel is the president and main contributor to the foundation, with Maccabi Tel Aviv legend Miki Berkowitz the foundation chairman. Klein coached the Ruppin basketball team in the final years of his life (above) and led it to both national and international success. A Holocaust survivor, Klein played for Maccabi Tel Aviv after coming to Israel in 1951 and in 1970 was appointed as the club's coach. His brightest moment as Maccabi coach came in the 1976/77 season when he guided the team to the European Championship title, claiming an historic victory over CSKA Moscow on the way. Two years later he guided the Israel national team to an unprecedented second place finish in the European Championships.

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