Sports

Head of the glass: Yeshiva U.’s Rebecca Yoshor excelling on and off court

In this Nov. 24, 2013 loss to the College of Elizabeth, Yeshiva University Maccabees forward Rebecca Yoshor, No. 34, grabbed 22 rebounds, a category in which she leads the nation. (Courtesy of Yeshiva University Sports Information Office)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Watching Rebecca Yoshor in action for the Yeshiva University women’s basketball team, the skills are evident: the shotmaking, quickness, leadership and court smarts. They are skills honed in what her father describes as “fierce games” with her brothers and the neighborhood kids in the driveway… Read more »

Sochi ready for Jewish arrivals

Short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov of the Israel Olympic team carries his country's flag during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Feb. 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Soft sand and turquoise beaches make Sochi a lovely holiday destination, but this coastal Russian city is less than ideal for providing religious services to large numbers of Jewish visitors. With few native Jews and only one resident rabbi, the Black Sea resort of 400,000 residents would… Read more »

Sports Moment // Wrestling with the Ghosts of Olympics Past

With the Winter Olympics set to open in Sochi, Russia, in February, Moment’s Josh Tapper talks to David Wallechinsky, author of The Complete Book of the Olympics and president of the International Society of Olympic Historians. • Why aren’t American Jewish Olympians, such as swimmer Mark Spitz, as revered as other American Jewish athletes,… Read more »

WINTER OLYMPICS: For Israel’s skaters, Olympic training is a New Jersey state of mind

Israel's Sochi-bound figure skaters who train in New Jersey: from left, Alexei Bychenko, Andrea Davidovich and Evgeni Krasnapolsky. (Hillel Kuttler)

HACKENSACK, N.J. (JTA) — Evgeni Krasnapolsky and Andrea Davidovich glide around the ice, shadowing one another to the accompaniment of Nino Rota’s “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet.” At a rink in this New York City suburb, the figure-skating pair are refining their long program a few weeks before… Read more »

Will God have a say in Super Sunday outcome?

Denver Academy of Torah teacher Benjamin Levy, center, is rooting for his hometown Seattle Seahawks, but is mindful of his students' passion for their native Denver Broncos. (Courtesy Benjamin Levy)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — Rabbi Daniel Alter expects some added fervency during daily prayer services at the Denver Academy of Torah in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Alter, the academy’s head of school, recalls that when the Colorado Rockies faced the Boston Red Sox in the 2007… Read more »

Retiring London Fletcher lauds bridge to NFL success — a Jewish couple

An enthusiastic London Fletcher being introduced as a starter for the Washington Redskins. He holds the NFL record for consecutive starts by a linebacker with 216 while playing for three teams. (Courtesy Washington Redskins)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — The rain dripping from his uniform provided an unceremonious end to London Fletcher’s career as the Washington Redskins linebacker headed to the locker room following a recent road loss to the New York Giants. His team’s last-place finish was hardly the idealized final walk off the… Read more »

At 91, Harvey Pollack still NBA’s leading scorekeeper

Harvey Pollack

Fittingly, Harvey Pollack was the one who scribbled the number 100 on the most famous photograph in basketball history: Wilt Chamberlain holding the piece of paper signifying his astounding point total in a 1962 game for the then Philadelphia Warriors. After all, Pollack is basketball’s ultimate numbers and public… Read more »

Early Hanukkah: Freshman nets free tuition with halfcourt heave

Colorado State University freshman Andrew Schneeweis sinks a half-court shot at a pep rally to win a year’s free tuition. (John Eisele/CSU Photography)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — The basketball goal that Ellen Schneeweis bought for her four sons as a Hanukkah present in 2008 drew Andrew, the second oldest, to practice shot after shot. Some attempts came from a pretty fair distance — like the sidewalk in front of his neighbors’ house in… Read more »

Israel experience launches Brad Ausmus into job as Tigers manager

Manager Brad ausmus, right, and two of his coaches, Shawn Green, left, and Gabe Kapler, constituted the all-Jewish, Major Leagie-pedigree leadership of Israel's 2012 tean competing for a World Baseball Classic bid. (Israel Association of Baseball)

BALTIMORE (JTA) – Almost from the moment they met him, several officials and players with Israel’s national baseball team said they saw manager Brad Ausmus headed for the major leagues. They cited his communication skills, command of the game and preparation — not to mention his 18-year playing career… Read more »

Brainy Breslow clutch on the hill in Red Sox title bid

Craig Breslow is the Boston Red Sox nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award for his charitable works.

(JTA) — When Craig Breslow entered Saturday night’s playoff game against the Detroit Tigers, FOX broadcaster Tim McCarver hailed the Boston Red Sox reliever — a Yale University graduate with a double major in molecular biophysics and biochemistry — as the smartest player in Major League Baseball. But with… Read more »

Adam Grossman’s dream job: Packing Fenway Park

With Boston back in the World Series, Red Sox marketing guru Adam Grossman doesn't mind the longer work days or shorter preparation time for next season. (Billie Weiss for the Boston Red Sox)

(JTA) — You’d think Adam Grossman has a pretty easy job. After all, with the Boston Red Sox owning one of the most iconic brands in professional sports and gunning for their third World Series title in the past decade, how hard could it be to put fans in… Read more »

Nate Freiman’s big year: Slugging for Israel to chasing a pennant in the big leagues

Nate Freiman, a rookie first baseman for the Oakland Athletics, is trying to help his team make the playoffs. (Hille Kuttler)

BALTIMORE (JTA) – Last September, first baseman Nate Freiman was doing his best to help Israel secure a spot in the World Baseball Classic. Despite some super hitting from the towering slugger, the team fell short. Fast forward a year. Freiman, 25, now finds himself in another playoff chase.… Read more »

Israel’s Maccabiah Games warm hearts of Tucson hall-of-famers, competitors

Handball hall-of-famer Fred Lewis, second from right, with his brother, Jack Lewis, sister-in-law, Ilene Lewis, and son, David Lewis, at the memorial to the 11 athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972, at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, site of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (Courtesy Fred Lewis)

  Israel hosted the world’s largest sporting event of the year this summer, the 19th Maccabiah Games, held July 17-30. Three Tucsonans participated as athletes in the Olympic-style games, which included Jewish athletes from 70 countries, while one current and one former Tucsonan were inducted into the International Jewish… Read more »

Fun and a few medals for Tucson teens at JCC Maccabi Games in Austin

(L-R) Becky Monroy, Heather Rich and Hayley Flanigan won bronze medals with the Team Austin girls basketball team.

Thirteen teen basketball players from Tucson — 10 boys and three girls —participated in the JCC Maccabi Games in Austin, Texas, July 28-Aug. 2. The annual games for Jewish teens ages 13 to 16 are like a mini-Olympics, but with the emphasis on camaraderie and enhancing Jewish identity more… Read more »

Nearly killed in 2010 accident, a triumphant Dave Blackburn returns to Maccabiah

Dave Blackburn, shown at center during last week's opening ceremony, is attending the Maccabiah as a paralympian in table tennis after six previous appearances as an able-bodied softball pitcher. (Courtesy Dave Blackburn)

RAMAT GAN, Israel (JTA) — Dave Blackburn beamed triumphantly, surrounded by a crowd of American athletes and cheering spectators. It was like old times, the great pitcher basking in applause. But Blackburn wasn’t being ushered off the field with a championship trophy in hand as he was after leading… Read more »

Olympic gold medalist leads U.S. delegation at Maccabiah opening

When swimmer Garrett Weber-Gale heard his name announced last Wednesday as the U.S. flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games, he just about lost his breath. A two-time gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Weber-Gale had spoken with JTA earlier this week about the… Read more »

Coach Jacques Demers hoping to add Maccabiah gold to Stanley Cup, victory over illiteracy

Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers embraces his one-time goalie Patrick Roy at Roy's 2008 retirement ceremony at the Bell Centre in Montreal. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Of all the compelling stories of athletic achievement and challenges overcome that could be told by the 9,000 participants gathering in Israel for the 19th Maccabiah Games, it might be hard to find one to top Jacques Demers. He’s a coaching legend, having led the iconic… Read more »

How a man named Macabi helped bring 21 new countries to Maccabiah Games

BALTIMORE (JTA) — The first arrows Roxana and Rafael Gonzalez launch at the upcoming 19th Maccabiah Games will take flight from their fingertips, but also from Jeffrey Sudikoff’s imagination. Roxana, 25, and Rafael, 24, are part of the first Cuban delegation to participate in the Maccabiah, a quadrennial sports… Read more »

As European soccer racism festers, British pros coach Israelis in tolerance

Adam Green with fellow British fans of the English soccer club Chelsea on their way to a match in Amsterdam, May 15, 2013. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)

(JTA) — Itzik Shanan and Abbas Suan watched last week as 100,000 English soccer fans sang along to a live performance by a multiracial quartet at London’s Wembley Stadium. Shanan, who started a campaign to eliminate racism from Israeli soccer, and Suan, a well-known Arab-Israeli player, were in Britain… Read more »