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  • Itay Gershon, first Israeli to sign with Glory Kickboxing, earns unanimous win in debut fight (7/14/2017)
    Washington State star Gabe Marks awaits NFL draft (4/27/2017)
  • Tampa Bay Buccanners guard Ali Marpet is learning to play center (4/22/2017)
  • Israel’s Or Sasson (100kg) and Yarden Gerbi (63kg) return home with bronze medals in judo (8/16/2016)
  • Olympic gold-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky has a Jewish grandmother who lost relatives in the Holocaust (8/10/2016)
  • After retiring from the NBA, Amar’e Stoudemire — a self-described Hebrew Israelite — is moving to Israel. He will play for Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns (8/6/2016)
  • Two Jewish athletes will be playing for the U.S. Olympic rugby team in Rio: New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner, and rugby veteran Zack Test (8/1/2016)
  • Daniel Berger, 23, won the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic in Memphis on June 12, becoming first Jewish golfer to win a PGA title since Jonathan Kaye in 2004. He was named the PGA tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2015 (6/21/2016)
  • U. of Pennsylvania’s Sam Mattis tossed a discus 221′-3″ in March, the longest in the world so far in 2016. The second-place competitor threw 184′-9″ (5/11/2016)
  • Former Arizona State University quarterback Mike Bercovici signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers, and former Vanderbilt offensive guard Jake Bernstein signed with the Kansas City Chiefs (5/4/2016)
  • The Chicago Bears drafted 177-lb. former Western Michigan wide receiver Daniel Braverman in the 7th round of the 2016 draft. Sports Illustrated says he has a strong Jewish identity (5/2/2016).
  • Only four players in the NBA this season are shooting 50% from the floor, 40% from three-point range, and hitting at least one triple per game: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Israel’s Omri Casspi (1/10/2016)
  • Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman explores his Jewish heritage in Israel. 
    “They’re like an underdog, and I like underdogs” (8/28/2015)
  • College soccer coach recalls a young winger now known worldwide as Daily Show host Jon Stewart ***
  • NBA M.V.P. Stephen Curry isn’t Jewish, but mother Sonya Curry said this week that a “trip to Israel five years ago transformed her and sparked her interest in learning Hebrew” ***
  • A documentary about Jews and Arabs playing American football in Israel is making the rounds of Jewish film festivals (5/27/2015) ***
  • Our condolences to the family of Justin Zemser, a 5’8″ wide receiver on the U.S. Naval Academy’s sprint football team who died in last week’s Amtrak crash (5/18/2015) ***
  • Pro surfer and Hawaii native Makuakai “Makua” Rothman is ranked #1 on the World Surf League’s 2015 Big Wave Tour. Check out his website here *** (5/10/2015) ***
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected 6’4″, 307-pound offensive lineman Ali Marpet in the 2nd round of the NFL’s 2015 draft. The 61st overall pick, Marpet is an unlikely selection, having played for Hobart College, a Division III school in upstate New York with just 2,400 students (5/3/2015) ***

By Scott Barancik, Editor

David Levin, a 15-year-old from Israel who has played just three years of ice hockey, will be selected 1st in the Ontario Hockey League’s upcoming domestic draft.

The Toronto Sun reports that Levin moved alone to Canada at age 12 to pursue a professional hockey career — and now appears to be well on his way. “Dave’s ability to control the puck in traffic situations is as good as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said Levin’s coach from the past season, Lindsay Hofford. “I’ve seen him score goals where he’s gone around every single player on the team, those kind of YouTube-sensation goals.”

Levin’s parents and brother remain in Israel. His Latvian-born dad played pro soccer., and his Russian-born mother runs a spa.

# # #


By Scott Barancik, editor

“Erno Egri Erbstein was a Hungarian coach who became one of the most revered figures in Italian football during the 1940s,” says.

The story of Erbstein — who played soccer in New York, hid his family from the Nazis, leapt out of a train to escape a labor camp, became one of Italy’s top coaches, and died in a 1949 plane crash that killed him and his team — had been “almost forgotten.”

But a new book tells the tale. The Kindle version of Erbstein: The triumph and tragedy of football’s forgotten pioneer is available for $3.61.

# # #

  • The wrestling brothers featured in the movie Foxcatcher were “raised in poverty by their Jewish mother” * * *
  • Tulane center Aaron Liberman, a redshirt sophomore, is a 6-foot-10-inch Orthodox Jew whose mother was an Israeli sprinter * * *
  • Bravo to Baseball for All, which just completed its first 2-day clinic for Jewish and Arab Israeli sixth-graders (3/11/2015) * * *
  • Lebron James on coach David Blatt: “I respect him as a coach, he respects me as a leader of this team and we have some good chemistry right now” * * *
  • After starting the season 19-20, Lebron James’ Cavaliers have won 18 of their last 22 under rookie coach David Blatt * * *
  • Speaking of Nate Ebner, have you read S.I.’s story about his incredible journey to the NFL? * * *
  •  c/o Kaplan’s Korner: though the Patriots’ Julian Edelman has Jewish lineage, he was raised Christian. But special-teams guy Nate Ebner is Jewish * * *
  • The Washington Post’s ode to U. of Md. senior Jacob Susskind, an Orthodox kid who walked-on to the basketball team (1/29/2015) * * *
  • Why does Patriots QB Tom Brady’s new house have a menorah in it? (1/28/2015) * * *
  • Jacoby Boren, a 6’1″ offensive lineman with national champion Ohio State, is the third Boren brother to play for the Buckeyes (1/17/2015) * * *
  • Former Jewish minor leaguer Randy Poffo, better known as wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage, has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (1/17/2015) * * *
  • In a 1970 interview, former heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey said his paternal grandmother, Rachel Solomon, was Jewish (1/17/2015) * * *
  • Josh Ho-Sang, a first-round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 2014, is the son of a Chilean Jew and a Jamaican tennis pro. His great-grandfather was born in Hong Kong (12/29/2014) * * *
  • After starting the season 5-7, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won 6 in a row under rookie coach David Blatt and now lead the Central Division (12/7/2014) * * *
  • Coach David Blatt earned his first NBA win Friday as the Cavaliers beat the Bulls in OT. A day earlier, Blatt had chewed-out his players after a lackluster season debut against the Knicks (11/1/2014) * * *
  • LeBron, Cavs beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 107-80 on Sunday behind ex-Maccabi coach David Blatt before sellout crowd in Cleveland (10/6/2014) ***
  • How a Jewish roommate at U. of Florida led 6’9″ power forward Alex Tyrus to convert to Judaism, play ball in Israel (9/23/2014) ***
  • He’s 15 years old, 7’1″ tall, African-American, and Jewish. Zach Brown and his Fort Lauderdale team took the bronze last month at the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games in Cherry Hill, N.J.
  • Freelance sportswriter Sandra Harwitt has just published a book titled The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time, available now for pre-order at Amazon (9/15/2014) ***
  • The nation’s best high-school Q.B. attends a Catholic school outside Los Angeles. But he’s Jewish. And so is his center (8/30/2014) ***
  • Geoff Schwartz, the New York Giants’ 6’6″, 340-pound guard, talks about growing up Jewish with brother Mitchell Schwartz, a guard for the Cleveland Browns (8/11/2014) ***
  • More from Noad Lahat: “As a combat soldier, there is nothing in the world I want more than peace…I don’t want to see more killing, more blood…Only blood is right here in the octagon” (7/26/2014) ***
  • In a post-fight interview, Noad Lahat said he would fly home right away to Israel: “If me and my friends, my partners in arms, don’t go and defend our country, we’ll have nowhere to go” (7/26/2014) ***
  • Israeli Noad Lahat upset UFC veteran Steven Siler today in a unanimous decision. The 30-year-old used 4 takedowns and world-champion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to earn the win (7/26/2014) ***
  • Israeli fighter Noad Lahat, interviewed here, will make his second UFC appearance Saturday night…and then return home to a real war (7/25/2014)
  • After winnings its first 5 matches at the 38-nation World Lacrosse Championships by a combined margin of 88-18 — including a 15-1 thrashing of Germany — Israel lost 1-point heartbreakers to Australia and England. Today’s foe: Japan (7/18/2014) ***
  • Read what new Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has to say about LeBron James, Bernard Malamud, coaching Euroleague champ Maccabi Tel Aviv, and leaving his wife and kids back in Israel (7/16/2014) ***
  • Interesting profile of boxer Boyd Melson, an African-American Jew who learned to box at West Point and dreamt of winning an Olympic gold medal so that he could teach George Bush a lesson about stem-cell research (7/14/2014) ***
  • Israel, which didn’t have a national lacrosse team as recently as four years ago, is 4-0 so far in its first trip to the World Lacrosse Championships (7/14/2014) ***
  • At 7’1″ and 255 pounds, high-school freshman Zachariah “Zach” Brown dominated in 2014, averaging 18.4 points, 16.5 rebounds, and 6.9 blocks per game for Miami Beach. named Brown, who is Jewish, to its Freshman All-American Team (7/8/2014) ***
  • Watch Columbia — and its Jewish coach, Jose Pekerman — play Brazil this afternoon in the World Cup! (7/4/2014) ***
  • Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli was raised by a Jewish adoptive mother from the age of three (6/20/2014) ***
  • New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, whose interest in Judaism has led him to study Torah and seek Israeli citizenship, may be pondering a Bar Mitzvah (5/12/2014) ***
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