Mac TA icon Boatwright dies

Boatwright won seven Israeli championships, six State Cups, as well as two European championships, before announcing his retirement in 1981.

February 13, 2013 00:01
1 minute read.

Jim Boatwiright 370. (photo credit: GPO)


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Former Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Jim Boatwright passed away Monday in Hailey, Idaho, after a short battle with liver cancer. He was 61 years old.

The Rupert, Idaho, native joined Maccabi in the 1974/75 season after four years at Utah State University, leading the team in scoring as a junior and senior.

The elegant 2.01-meter forward played for Maccabi for the next seven seasons, helping it to the European title in 1977 and captaining the side to its second continental championship in 1981.

Boatwright won seven Israeli championships, six State Cups, as well as two European championships, before announcing his retirement in 1981.

The sharp-shooter scored 2,373 points for Maccabi in local league action and still ranks 10th all-time among yellow-and-blue players with 1,481 points in European competition.

However, Boatwright will be remembered especially for his gift of showing up on the big occasion.

He scored 18 points in Maccabi’s unforgettable win over CSKA Moscow in Virton, Belgium in 1977 and was the team’s top scorer with 26 points in the European final against Varese later that year.

Boatwright also played 25 times for the Israel national team after receiving citizenship, scoring 348 points for the blue-andwhite and helping it to a sixth-place finish in the 1981 European Championships.

Boatwright’s death came just four days after another Maccabi great, Howie Lassoff, passed away at the age of 57, also from cancer.

Lassoff played for the US team in the 10th Maccabiah Games in 1977 and joined Hapoel Haifa the following year.

The Philadelphian-Jew, who became a proud Israeli citizen, joined Maccabi in 1981 and played for the team for six seasons, winning six Israeli championships and five State Cups, while also taking part in two European finals.

He scored 1,365 points in his time with the team before moving on to play for Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem, among others, eventually retiring in 1993.

Lassoff also became an integral part of the national team in the 1980’s, amassing 99 appearances for the blueand- white, a record for a nationalized player, and scoring 960 points.

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