Jewish grad makes name for himself in Cornell

Eitan Chemerinski found himself on the radar of college scouts from Division I schools.

EITAN CHEMERINSKI (left) 370 (photo credit: Cornell Athletics)
(photo credit: Cornell Athletics)
Buried beneath a number of talented leagues in the Washington D.C Metro Area is the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC). The league has about a dozen member schools, and seldom produces athletes that make national headlines following graduation.
A few years ago, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS) in Rockville, Maryland was fortunate enough to have 6”9 Eitan Chemerinski playing for their varsity basketball team.
Chemerinski was a force to be reckoned with in the PVAC, averaging 17.5 points per game, and being the leader for the Lions, who beat their opponents by an average of 22.5 points a game.
The Lions finished the season with a 23-1 record.
During that final season with JDS, Chemerinski found himself on the radar of college scouts from Division I schools. “The recruiting process began after I finished 11th grade.
“Aside from playing for JDS, I played for an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team and also went to a few basketball camps.
“The opportunity was so important at the time because it gave me a chance to compete against tougher competition and in front of college coaches.”
After visiting a few schools, Chemerinski felt that Cornell was the school that would be able to best give him the opportunities he desired academically while playing for a competitive Division I basketball program.
After seeing limited minutes in his first two years with the Big Red, Chemerinski became a starter this past season, his 3rd with the team, and averaged 5.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes a game. He also shot a stunning 62.5 percent from the field, ranking 2nd all time in Cornell history.
Chemerinski began his junior season on a tear, scoring in double digits in four consecutive games, while posting an impressive 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks against Buffalo this past year.
Chemerinski has enjoyed a few highlights during his career at Cornell thus far. In his 1st season with the Big Red, Chemerinski found himself in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and also caught national headlines after he solved a rubixcube in an impressive 7.08 seconds.
He also had the chance to play against Jeremy Lin (currently playing for the NBA’s Houston Rockets), something that he says is “pretty neat looking back on the experience today.”
This past year, as a junior, Chemerinski was selected to the Academic All-District Team, a reflection of his success off the court, as he posted a 3.87 grade point average in applied economics and management.
Chemerinski reflected on attending a Jewish Day School, and having the opportunity to play against other Jewish athletes in college. “I was very happy to have attended JDS. It is a great school and I played for an experience and friendly coach.
“We were one of two Jewish schools in a small athletics conference and usually finished atop the league standings.
“However I did not anticipate having the opportunity to play at the Division I level. It has also been pretty exciting being able to play against other Jewish players such as Zack Rosen [University of Pennsylvania] and Jake Cohen [Davidson University].”
Asked about his plans for the future, and whether he would consider taking his skills overseas, Chemerinski replied, “Right now I’m just focusing on improving my game, so I can continue to contribute to the team the best I can.
“I don’t know what I will do after I graduate, but if there were one place that I would want to play basketball professionally, it would be in Israel.”