NY Knicks host Israeli high school team in charity match

Reali Gymnasium High School team 311 (photo credit: .)
Reali Gymnasium High School team 311
(photo credit: .)
Madison Square Garden, home of the NBA’s New York Knicks, saw adifferent type of basketball game last Sunday. Instead of professionalNBA stars playing for money and fame, the arena was host to afund-raiser match for cancer patients of Yad Tamar between the RealiGymnasium High School team of Rishon Lezion, and the Magen DavidYeshiva high school of Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn team had competed against other Jewish schools from the area for the opportunity to face the Israeli team.
Followinga Knicks vs Rockets game, the Rishon Lezion team took the floor, andled by coach Ziv Erez of Hapoel Yerushalyim, former coach of Israelibasketball star Omri Casspi, beat the Brooklyn team 42-28.
Theevent was attended by legendary Knicks Walt Frazier, John Starks, andAlan Houston, who each signed basketballs donated to Yad Tamar, theprofits of which will go to supporting cancer patients and the medicalstaff treating them, in both the US and Israel. Based on the success ofthe event, Yad Tamar is already planning additional events in three UScities, with three other NBA teams.
Yad Tamar, founded in the USin memory of Tamar Lichtenstadt, who died of breast cancer, providesmedications, vacation outings, and support groups for cancer patientsand medical staff.
The 10 youngsters aged 16-18 who flew to NewYork to participate in the game were given the rare opportunity ofwatching the Knicks practice before their match against the HoustonRockets, as well as forming a “fan tunnel” – a line of fans who greetthe players as they enter the arena at the start of the game.
Fortheir win, the Rishon Lezion team was awarded the shinning prize of 10colored diamonds, donated for the event by Briza Color Diamonds ofIsrael. Though the diamonds will be donated to Yad Tamar, the playersalso received New York Knicks jerseys of their own. The Israeli playersenjoyed celebrity status in front of the hundreds of New York fans whocame to watch their game, and even signed autographs for the fans.

Yuval Orly, CEO of Yad Tamar, said: “This is first time an Israeli teamfrom Rishon Lezion met with the Jewish community of Brooklyn. The eventwas extremely exciting, and the relationship forged between the playersand the community will remain in the future.”
Micky Wassertal,chairman of Yad Tamar, added: “Yad Tamar usually operates modestly, andthis was the first time in a very long time, and after much hard work,that we are presenting our labors publicly. The donation made by theyouth of Rishon and New York will continue to reverberate for a longtime in the hearts of Israeli children and adults who suffer fromcancer.”
Other highlights included Yad Tamar’s presentation ofa silver dome depiction of Jerusalem to former Knick John Starks inrecognition of his support of the event, and the extremely rare honorgiven to Jack Anteby, a cancer patient from New York recovering for thesecond time, who got to sit on the bench with the NBA players duringtheir match against the Rockets.