Monday, November 30, 2009

The Jewish Rocky


He is undefeated. He is about to fight for the light welter-weight title. And the one thing I know is that this fight will not take place on Shabbos. Dmitriy Salita, an Orthodox Jew, is going to be fighting Amir Khan for the belt on December 5th in Newcastle England. This story broke by Haaretz (and Manuel Gliksberg) mentions that Salita deserves to get the first crack at the newly crowned champion (Khan) because of his undefeated streak.

Salita has 30 wins and one draw including 16 knockouts, not bad for a Jewish boy. Nicknamed "The Star of David", was born in Ukraine but currently resides in Brooklyn NY. There is currently a film being made about Salita because of his unique talent and his religious beliefs. Salita will not fight on Shabbos or Holidays and keeps kosher under what must be a strick boxer's diet as well.

His family left the Ukrainan due to the voilence agaisnt Jews. Then Salita began boxing to fight of kids at school who saw a Ukrainan with bad English as an easy target. He has really been fighting off someone his whole life. Well he showed them. Salita loved watching Mike Tyson and has wanted to fight ever since he was a kid. In 2001 he turned pro and on December 5th he gets that chance to fight in front of a huge crowd and with the stakes never higher.

The fight itself is being billed by promoters as the title holding Muslim vs. the undefeated Jew. Obviously, this plays on the political and religious side of the fight. But ultimately it is a fight for the belt. One's first crack at the title and the other's first defense. So there will be nerves and there will be some intense punches.

Jews everywhere if you can watch this fight you should. Not only will it bring us much naches but it is going to be a great fight. Salita is a Jewish athlete we should all rally around both because of his commitment to his sport and his religion. Salita has been quoting saying, "Anyone who wants a good whuppin' from me is just going to have to wait until sundown." -www.haaretz.com


And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo from boxnews.com.ua

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lawrence Frank Fired

TGR brings you the news that after an 0-16 start New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank has been fired. This means that Larry Brown is now the only Jewish head coach in the NBA. The Nets fired Frank in hope to avoid a NBA record 0-17 start. Assistant Tom Barrise will take over as coach.

Espn.com reports "I want to thank Lawrence for more than a decade of service to the Nets, first as an assistant coach and then as the head coach for the past six and a half seasons," Nets president Rod Thorn said in a statement. "Lawrence always approached every day with a passion for his craft that was infectious, and his dedication to the game as well as his work ethic are to be both admired and appreciated. I wish he and his family only the best of good fortune in the future."

Frank took over the Nets job for Byron Scott and won his first 13 games. And now he ends on a 16 games losing streak to start a new season.  His career record was 255-241. But even his winning record wasn't enough to save his job.

I wouldn't blame this whole season on Frank. The Nets lack talent and have dealt with several injuries. The Nets of old had a good Richard Jefferson and a still vibrant Vince Carter. Oh ya and a guy name Jason Kidd. This team has Devin Harris followed by...Brook Lopez?

We here at TGR wish Frank the best. Maybe now it'll be easier for us to try to get an interview with him.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

UC Davis - Todd Lowenthal

We just received confirmation that that UC David Guard Todd Lowenthal is Jewish. Lowenthal is a Junior averaging 3.3 ppg for the Aggies. Good luck this season.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shabbat and TDay

Shabbat Shalom and happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Quick notes this week.

Looks like the country likes Jon Scheyer. But I am glad to see people are taking notice Dane Diliegro and Bryan Cohen. Both are having great seasons.

We are backed up on stories again. We have a bunch to bring you next week that are outside the baseball/basketball sports world.

For you fantasy football lovers check out www.fantasydash.com

Also a quick side note. There are reports out there that AL MVP Joe Mauer is Jewish. As far as I know there is no truth to this rumor.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TGR Birthday Edition


When I was 4 my teacher asked us on Thanksgiving what we were grateful for. My entire pre-school class said the obvious answers He-man toys, Thurdercats toys, and Barbies. But I was different (some would say I still am). I said my sister.

Today my birthday, as it did the day I was born and Bar Mitzvahed, coincides with Thanksgiving. I thought long and hard about what I should write about for my BDay post. And like in pre-school I have decided to turn my attention to my sister.

Often I write about famous athletes, up and coming athletes, and even retired ones. Dana, my sister, never played in college (although I know she could have) but she was one hell of a High School player.  I have seen and coached girls basketball players. Many were faster than her and even stronger than her. But no one ever had a better shot than my little sis. She could, and actually still can, shoot the lights out. Don't just take my word for it. Her numbers don't lie. She made the varsity team as a Freshman at Ida Crown and was probably the best player in the school at that point. She also is probably the school's All-Time leading female scorer but her stats were never really kept. As a Junior she became the first ever player from Ida Crown to go down state in the State 3-point contest. Something she again accomplished her Senior year. Now, many of the girls who make it down state do it with scores of 4s or 5s. Dana was doing it with 7s-10s. She also has the third most (at the time second most) 3-pointers made in a single game in Illinois state history. Below is from the IHSA record books.

Most 3-Point Field Goals Made, Game

*[1.]  12, Kassie Drew, Anna (A.-Jonesboro) vs. Chester, Dec. 2, 2003
[1.]  12, Courtney Weibel, Rockton (Hononegah) vs. Rockford (Harlem), Dec. 14, 2006
[3.]  11, Angie Sapp, Williamsville vs. Mason City (Illini Central), Feb. 7, 1990 (11 of 23)
[3.]  11, Kassie Drew, Anna-Jonesboro vs. Vienna, Dec. 21, 2002
[5.]  10, Mandy Cunningham, Bridgeport (Red Hill) vs. Robinson, Feb. 4, 1988
[5.]  10, Tracy Specketer, Normal (Community) vs. Champaign (Centennial), Dec. 15, 2001 (10 of 13 att.)
[5.]  10, Dana Fine, Chicago (Ida Crown) vs. Chicago (Cristo Rey), Dec. 22, 2001 (10 of 14 att.)

[5.]  10, Jenna Rubino, Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) vs. Joliet (H.S.), Dec. 19, 2002
[5.]  10, Jenna Rubino, Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) vs. Chicago (Vocational), Dec. 21, 2002
[5.]  10, Maggie McCloskey, Riverside (R.-Brookfield) vs. Lemont, Nov. 29, 2005
[5.]  10, Maggie McCloskey, Riverside (R.-Brookfield) vs. Franklin Park (Leyden), Feb. 4, 2006

Dana gave up competitive basketball to go the THE Ohio State University. She has stayed in the sports world coaching at Solomon Schechter, working for the Woman's Sports Foundation, and writing for Nike's Woman's Sports. Now she finds herself back in school getting a masters degree. 

So, for my birthday I want to salute my little sister. One who I miss very much being out here in Israel. I am also very thankful that she has to take care of Mom and Dad this year without me =)

Happy Turkey Day everyone and remember to be thankful for what you got.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine 

Scheyer vs. Glasser

Last nigth Jon Scheyer and Derek Glasser went head to head. Here is how they faired:

Glasser - 13pts, 7rbs, 3ass
Scheyer - 16pts, 4rbs, 5ass

Pretty comparable stats. Both were CBS Sportsline players of the game.

Scheyer got the last laugh as Duke got the last laugh by winning 64-53 and advance in the NIT Season Tip-Off Finals. They will play UConn in the finals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wizards Owner Abe Pollin Passes Away at 85


In the middle of High School week we have the unfortunate news of reporting that the owner of the Washington Wizards, Abe Pollin, passed away today at the age of 85. Pollin had previously owned the Washington Mystics and the Washington Capitals.

Pollin was a long time supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. He served on the boards for AIPAC, Hillel, and The Israel Project. He was an activist for Soviet Jews. Pollin was also close friends with former Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzchak Rabin.

May his memory be for a blessing.






Picture is from the AP.

JUF Mentions TGR

Thanks to Elissa Ship for sending in this little blurb. It seems that TGR was mentioned in the JUF newsletter.

An Oy!nonymous blogger pours out her troubles with her mother-in-law on Oy!Chicago, while the Great Rabbini rattles off Israeli basketball stars' accomplishments.

While they called it "Rabbini" it is nice to see us getting some more press.

Thank you Elissa and to the JUF.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jewish Hoops America


I have several guilty pleasures in this world. I love the movie Blue Chips. I could eat an entire bag of the Chocolate Chip Cookies made by Chewy...the ones in the red bag. I also love High School basketball. I loved playing, coaching, and just going to watch future college stars play the game. I stumbled across an amazing website www.jewishhoopsamerica.com. These guys keep track of the High School teams across the country. They rank them. They scout them. And they let people like me know everything there is to know about Jewish high school ball. We interviewed JHA below. Enjoy:

 Interview:
1) When and why did you start your website?
WE STARTED THE WEBSITE ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO. AT THE TIME WE WERE RUNNING A BASKETBALL CAMP FOR JEWISH HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS AT THE END OF EACH SUMMER. THE WEBSITE WAS A WAY FOR US TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE LEAGUE, PLAYERS AND COACHES THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. ONCE WE BRANCHED OUT NATIONALLY AND BEGAN TO COVER SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE WEBSITE BECAME ITS OWN ENTITY AND A SEPARATE FOCUS. NOW THAT WE NO LONGER RUN THE CAMP, THE WEBSITE IS OUR WAY OF GIVING THE PLAYERS AND THE JEWISH TEAMS THE EXPOSURE THEY DESERVE.


2) How do you judge the rankings for players and teams?
WE HAVE A NATIONAL PANEL OF VOTERS. THE POLL FOLLOWS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FORMAT FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL (WITH FEWER VOTERS). EACH FIRST PLACE VOTE IS WORTH 25 POINTS, SECOND PLACE IS 24 POINTS, ETC. AFTER THE TOP 25, WE LIST ALL THE SCHOOLS THAT RECEIVED VOTES.
THE VOTERS HAVE UNTIL MONDAY AFTERNOON TO SUBMIT THEIR TOP 25'S, THE VOTES ARE TABULATED AND THE NEW POLL IS RELEASED ON THE WEBSITE MONDAY NIGHT.
THE VOTERS ARE SPREAD OUT AROUND THE COUNTRY ALL WITH SOLID HOOPS RESUMES. SOME ARE FORMER OR CURRENT COLLEGE PLAYERS, OTHERS HAVE COACHED HIGH SCHOOL BALL AND SOME ARE JUST LIFELONG FANS. WE TRY TO LIMIT HOW MANY COME FROM THE SAME AREA AND THE ONLY DISQUALIFIER IS THAT A VOTER CANNOT CURRENTLY BE AFFILIATED (COACH, ASSISTANT COACH, OR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR) WITH ANY SCHOOL WE TRACK.

3) Who are the top teams to watch this season?
THE TOP 25 HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED. THE TOP TEN TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THUS FAR ARE:
RAMAZ - NEW YORK, NY
TARBUT V'TORAH - IRVINE, CA
HESCHEL - NEW YORK, NY
VALLEY TORAH - VALLEY VILLAGE, CA
HAFTR - CEDARHURST, NY
HANC - UNIONDALE, NY
JEWISH DAY SCHOOL - ROCKVILLE, MD
SOLOMON SCHECHTER - WEST ORANGE, NJ
YULA - LOS ANGELES, CA
MTA - NEW YORK, NY

BEING THAT THIS IS THE FIRST POLL OF THE SEASON, THESE WILL LIKELY DRASTICALLY CHANGE IN COMING WEEKS AS THE SEASON PLAYS ON.

4) Who are the top players to watch this season?
LOCALLY, IN THE NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY AREA THERE ARE TWO SPECIAL PLAYERS TO WATCH:
1. BENJY RITHOLTZ OF HANC. BENJY WAS THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME MVP LAST YEAR AS A JUNIOR. HE AVERAGED 18 POINTS PER GAME AND OVER 20 PPG IN THE PLAYOFFS CULMINATING WITH A 21 POINT PERFORMANCE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. HE WAS THE RUNNER-UP JEWISH HOOPS AMERICA NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR LAST YEAR TO EITAN CHEMERINSKI (CURRENTLY PLAYING FOR CORNELL).
2. YISRAEL FELD OF MTA IS A JUNIOR WHO IS AVERAGING ABOVE 20 PPG ALREADY THIS SEASON. AS A SOPHOMORE LAST YEAR HE WAS A TOP SCORER AS WELL FOR THE VARSITY TEAM. ATHLETIC PLAYER WHO CAN PLAY THE POINT OR SHOOTING GUARD. HE WILL BE AN EXPLOSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH THE NEXT TWO YEARS.

5) Who are the best Jewish high school players and teams you have covered?
RAMAZ IN NY SEEMS TO BE A TOP 3 TEAM EVERY YEAR. THEY ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT IN THE TOP SPOT OF THE POLLS. THE ONLY QUESTION YEAR TO YEAR IS WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE ABLE TO GET THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT A LOSS. LAST YEAR THEY WERE UNDEFEATED THROUGH THE ENTIRE SEASON (24-0) BEFORE LOSING IN THE LEAGUE SEMIFINALS. THE YEAR BEFORE THEY WERE THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS. THIS YEAR THEY ARE RIGHT BACK UP THERE AT 8-0. TARBUT V'TORAH OF IRVINE, CALIFORNIA HAD A SPECIAL SEASON LAST YEAR, ADVANCING VERY FAR IN THEIR CALIFORNIA LEAGUE PLAYOFFS.
AS FOR PLAYERS - THE TWO MENTIONED ABOVE ARE IN ANY CONVERSATION OF GREAT PLAYERS OVER THE YEARS. I WOULD ADD TO THEM JORDAN MARCUS WHO PLAYED FOR SOLOMON SCHECHTER A FEW YEARS AGO. I BELIEVE HE IS NOW PLAYING FOR ITHACA. SOLOMON SCHOONOVER OF MIAMI, FL WAS A GREAT PLAYER TWO YEARS AGO. A 6'5 PLAYER WITH GUARD SKILLS.

6) What are your feelings about the Sarachek tournament?
I THINK THE SARACHEK TOURNAMENT IS A TERRIFIC EVENT AND A TERRIFIC EXPERIENCE FOR TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE ATMOSPHERE THEY CREATE ALONG WITH THE COMPETITION MAKES FOR A TREMENDOUS WEEKEND OF BASKETBALL. IT IS GREAT FOR BOTH YESHIVA UNIVERSITY AS WELL AS THE PARTICIPATING HIGH SCHOOLS. THEY DO A GREAT JOB OF TRYING TO GIVE THAT EXPERIENCE TO AS MANY SCHOOLS AS POSSIBLE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME KEEPING THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION UP AS BEST AS POSSIBLE.

7) What is the main goal and reason behind your site?
OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO GIVE JEWISH PLAYERS, TEAMS AND FANS A FORUM THEY CAN GO TO IN ORDER TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS ABOUT THEIR TEAMS AND SCHOOLS. A PLACE THEY CAN READ ABOUT THEMSELVES, THEIR FRIENDS AND THEIR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IN A WORD - IT IS OUR ATTEMPT TO TRY AND BRING TOGETHER JEWISH TEAMS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND UNITE THEM UNDER ONE UMBRELLA OF COVERAGE AND EXPOSURE.

Thank you yo Jewish Hoops America. Great site. We will continue to follow you and the teams on your site. For the actual site click here or on our side resources area.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, November 23, 2009

High School Soccer

While at times TGR might seem like a website devoted to basketball and baseball, we assure we cover other sports. One sport we have not paid to much attention to is soccer. Today we bring you a story which we read in the Philadelphia Inquirer that combines soccer and High school sports (we have another soccer story in the works thanks to Mr. Justin Ziemba). Click here to learn more about The Stern Hebrew boy's soccer team. 

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/high_school/20091113_A_winning_season_is_cause_for_celebration.html

Sunday, November 22, 2009

6 Points Sports Academy

High School Week Continues...
How many of you went to Jewish summer camp? My hand is up. And how many of you thought about focusing on your sport all summer instead? I am still raising my hand. What if you could do both? Okay I am in. Finally the Jewish world has an overnight sports camp. It is called 6 Points Sports Academy. We spoke with the director Randy Colman to get the scoop on 6 Points and what it brings to young Jewish athletes.


Interview:
The Great Rabbino: Hey Randy, welcome to the The Great Rabbino it is our pleasure to have an interview with you.

Randy Colman: It is an honor to be speaking with the Great Rabbino!

TGR: So, Randy please tell the TGR audience what exactly is 6 Points Sports Academy?

Randy: 6 Points Sports Academy is a new summer camp experience where our highly trained and professional coaching staff can inspire Jewish campers to achieve excellence in their sport in a warm and encouraging summer camp atmosphere that promotes Reform Jewish values.

TGR: Why did you start the camp? And how did you go about finding funding/backing for the camp?

Randy: The camp was started to provide a resource for campers and their families so they did not have to choose between a high quality sports camp and a Jewish summer camp. At 6 Points, we plan on seamlessly integrating the best of sports and Judaism into a fun summer camp environment.

TGR: What types of facilities, instructors, and resources will the camp have?

Randy: 6 Points Sports Academy is located in Greensboro, NC on the campus of American Hebrew Academy. Situated on a beautiful 115 acre, $100 million dollar campus, the dormitory and athletic facilities are incredible. We will have college or high level high school coaches and Jewish college athletes who will serve as assistant coaches and role models “on” and “off” the field.

TGR: What is a typical day at 6 Points going to be like?

Randy: Sports, sports and more sports! Each camper will spend 4 hours a day in their chosen sport major and then spend an additional 2 hours a day in sport electives for fun, recreation and cross training. Evenings and weekends will be filled with campfires, bunk skits, song sessions and other fun camp activities.

TGR: What will Jewish life be like at 6 Points Sports Academy?

Randy: Everything we do will be from a Jewish perspective. We will use informal Jewish educational methods to seamlessly integrate Jewish values throughout the day.

TGR: In 10 years from now what do you hope 6 Points will have achieved?

Randy: At 6 Points our focus is on each individual camper and it’s about the life skills and values that we can teach them through sports. Our goal is to help create future leaders by integrating the overlapping values that are taught through sports and Judaism. Perhaps 10 years from now we will have a second camp location and while it’s not necessarily our goal, perhaps we will have a few professional Jewish athletes who attended camp here; perhaps a few Jewish leaders who attended camp here, and most importantly, we hope that all of our campers leave camp with a stronger sense of their own Jewish identity.

TGR: Were you an athlete when you were younger?

Randy: I was a 3 sport athlete growing up, Baseball, Basketball and Football. I was recruited to play D1 football for several colleges, but chose to attend the University of Michigan instead. I know what it is like being an athlete and more importantly a “Jewish” athlete.

TGR: What is a better camp movie and why; Wet Hot American Summer, Meatballs, or Indian Summer?

Randy: I can’t say I really have a favorite. I love all camp and all sport movies, especially those that highlight the “underdog”

TGR: How can potential campers and counselors get in touch with the camp?

Randy: They can visit our website at www.6pointsacademy.org or call us at 561-208-1650.

TGR: Randy, thank you for your time and good luck in the future. Hopefully, you will help produce some more Jews in sports so I can keep TGR alive. Can we revisit during the summer and see how things are going?

Randy: I would welcome the opportunity!

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Joe Tadelman -A Man to Remember


I had planned on starting High School sports week with a story about an exciting program or player to watch in the world of Jewish High School sports. But last week I got a phone call from my mother that a very dear friend of ours passed away. Joe Tadelman was a Jewish sports legend in Chicago. As a former coach at Kelvyn Park and Kelly High School, Joe inspired hundreds of athletes to be their best. One of those students was my mother.

It seems only fitting that this week starts off with a story about Joe because for a long time he was high school sports in Chicago. Even when I played, refs and coaches knew Joe, and this was many years after he had retired. Joe had that affect on people. He was able to make you notice him with his big smile, his warm hugs, and his love of life that you just felt when you met him.

Joe was around in my life ever since I was a child. I knew him as my mother's mentor, the director of Golden Arrow Day Camp (a camp I went to at a young age), and most importantly as one of the most gentle souls this world has ever seen. Joe founded Golden Arrow Day Camp which employed hundreds of young students looking to make a buck and helped families afford summer camp. It wasn't anything fancy but it had heart. I loved that camp. There isn't a day that I pass a Forrest preserve and don't think how lucky I was to go to a camp that was simple and felt like family.

Joe also was one of the founders of Bnai Brith Sports Lodge. Bnai Brith has given scholarships and awards to many Jewish athletes and has provided a place for Jews to connect through sport.

But besides all that Joe accomplished in his life, the thing I knew Joe the most for was his love for life. He was sick for many years but that did not stop him from living, from smiling, and from trying. I am a better person for having known such a wonderful man. This world has lost a special person. A person that Chicagoans, Jews, and everyone he ever came across should be proud of.

If this blog has given me anything, it has given me a place to write about a special person. One that everyone should have had the privilege to have known and one we should all celebrate and remember.

May Joe's life have been for a blessing.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Grabow and Cubs Reach Agreement


The Chicago Cubs (boooo) and relief pitcher John Grabow reached a two-year $7.5 million deal. Grabow pitched in 75 relief appearances last season going 3-0 with 3.36 era.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Nice week here at TGR. Welcome back to Scott Radinsky. Radical Rad was a fun pitcher to watch as a kid. Also, congrats to Nancy Lieberman and Ryan Braun.


Poll:
There is a new poll up where people are voting on their NCAA Basketball mvp.

Next Week:
We are doing a week of High School sports next week. We are trying to get some interviews and profile a few organizations.

On a side note its my Bday. Instead of buying presents buy some TSHIRTS!! and wear them.

TGR News:
We have spent some time reaching out to some altheres. We hope to have interviews from future Cleveland Indian Jason Kipnis and former ATP player Paul Goldstein.

Also, we are in talks with the Maccabi games on some interesting stuff. I will keep everyone posted.

Have a good Shabbos.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Braun Seeing Silver


Ryan Braun was awarded his second Silver Slugger award.

Braun's numbers:
H/AB      203/635
Runs 113
HRs 32
RBIS 114
SB 20
BB 57
TB 350
AVG .321
OBP .386
SLG .551


Congrats to the "Hebrew Hammer".
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OY! Article

TGR Headlines Oy! Chicago again. Click here to read.

Scott Radinsky

Former White Sox reliever and cancer survivor is back in the big leagues as a pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians. Radinsky was hired by new manager Manny Acta. He has been working for the minor league team the Columbus Clippers who are the AAA affiliate for the Indians.

Story of the Week - Back in the Saddle


While this story did not make many headlines, recently former WNBA player and coach, Hall of Famer, two time Olympian, and the face of TGR's relaunch Nancy Lieberman accepted a job to coach the new NDBL affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a groundbreaking move by the Mavericks. There has never been a female coach in the NBA or in the NDBL. She will be the first female coach working with NBA players. Last year the NDBL sent 19 players to the NBA. So Lieberman is breaking a barrier for women everywhere.

Recently, Lieberman has served as a sports analyst for ESPN. But in an earlier interview she told TGR, "There is nothing like playing the game. Playing is the most wonderful thing in the world. After playing I would say coaching because you are still in the trenches." Lieberman's passion is to be on the court in some form and the Mavericks organization is allowing her to continue her passion.

The team will play its games in Frisco, Texas. The team does not have a name yet.

Hopefully, regardless of Lieberman's success she will be opening the doors for females get into coaching at the NBA level. We here at TGR wish her luck and look forward to seeing how it all works out.

The above picture was taken many years ago by TGR correspondent Lauren Abraham when she met Lieberman as a child =) Enjoy.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 College BBall Season Begins

A few weeks ago we brought you the TGR All Americans. Here is how they did in the first week of   the NCAA season.

Preseason MVP Jon Scheyer dropped 18 points while grabbing 3 boards and dishing out four assists in a Duke victory. Bryan Cohen also scored 18 points for Bucknell in a loss to Providence.

Derek Glaser scored 10 points in his opener while handing out 4 assists. Zach Rosen filled out the boxscore with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for Penn.

The Co-MVPs for week one were Dane Diliegro who had a double double (14pts/15rbs) as he helped New Hampshire to start 1-0 on the season. Brett Harvey dropped 23 points for Loyola MD. Both players had feature articles on TGR...which clearly played a part in them getting off to a great start (If I may say so myself). For more information on Diliegro click here and for Harvey click here.

Nice start for all of the TGR All Americans.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Boxing Champ from Tel Aviv


This story was brought to me a long time ago by TGR reader and former Maryland great Howie Labow. Today's story is about Hagar Finer. Ever heard of her? Probably not, because her country barely has. Finer is an Israeli boxer. In fact she is a boxing champion. Unfortunately, for Finer boxing is not such a celebrated sport in Israel, especially for woman. 

Finer is an Orthodox woman from Tel Aviv. And we her at TGR want to acknowledge Finer and her accomplishments of becoming Flyweight Champion both for the WIBF andWIBA.

Below are links to a video featuring Finer's story and her website. I suggest looking at them so you can get to know her and her story. She is truly an inspiration and making a lot of noise in the boxing world. Not too mention she is solely responsible for bringing a sport to Israel.

Video Here.


Hagar Finer's Website.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

A nice week here at TGR. There was some much news that we couldn't bring you an interview or feature article.

This week we got a hold of Yaniv Simpson and Jason Kipnis and we hope to bring you those interviews soon.

Poll:
Seems like people are pretty excited about Gatorade becoming kosher.

Coming Soon:
We will have some info on the recent hiring of Nancy Lieberman. Also, Ryan Braun winning a Silver Slugger award. And hopefully some news from the boxing world.


TGR News:
We got a big shout out from Jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com. Check it out here

Next week my our second article in Oy! Chicago will be up. Check out my profile on the right hand side of TGR.

Lastly, TGR has branched out and has begun talking to some major organizations in the Jewish world about some really cool projects. We will keep everyone posted if there is more news to report. But for now know there is some exciting stuff going on.

As always, Shabbat Shalom.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Story of the Week - Snyder vs. 'Skins vs. Riggins


Each week we try to bring you an interview with a Jewish athlete or someone involved in the Jewish sports world. But occasionally we are going to start bringing you a "Story of the Week" when something huge happens in the Jewish sports world. When something comes up big enough that it is making major headlines in the national news, TGR is dedicated to bringing you that story.

This past week Washington Redskins owner Dan Synder found himself in the headlines. In what appears to be another disappointing season for the 'Skins, Synder went on record publicly apologizing to the fans. He said, "I feel sorry for the fans. And we're very, very appreciative of our great, loyal fan base. And I'm understanding. I mean, we just feel terrible. We're disappointed, and we're embarrassed. And we hope to get it going soon."- www.washingtontimes.com

Synder has tried to make big splashes in the free agent and trade markets in an attempt to change the losing ways in DC. He has landed Clinton Portis and Santana Moss. This year he paid mega-bucks for Albert Haynesworth. But none of them have really panned out.

Maybe his apology was sincere. He has tried to land special players and coaches, just nothing has worked.

The story didn't end there. John Riggins, former Redskin great, began bashing Snyder. Riggins told the world that Synder was in it for the money. Towards the end of his comment he said, "Let me put it to you this way Cris [Collinsworth], this person’s heart is dark". - www.washingtonexaminer.com

Collinsworth seemed shocked by Riggins comments. But when a former great of any team makes statements about the ownership/management people listen. People will, maybe unfairly, side with the player. When Michael Jordan complained about Jerry Krause, Krause got the boot (even after 6 championships). Obviously, that is not always the case. Most Packer fans have not sided with Brett Farve after all his outbursts about the Packers treatment of arguably the greatest QB of all-time. Still, this spat between Synder, 'Skins Fans, and now Riggins has caught the nation's attention. Maybe that is just the spark the 'Skins need (although they are 0-1 since the comments).

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by: dbking's flickr

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kapler Re-signs


Outfielder Gabe Kapler has resigned with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for one year worth $1.05 Million.
Photo by: Keith Allison

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bing's Fine Out

We hate to bring you bad news, but unfortunately Binghamton's David Fine has been kicked off the Bearcats basketball team. In what has been a crazy off-season for the Binghamton Bearcats, Fine seems to be just another casualty.

Earlier in the summer Binghamton dealt with rumors of Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben using/selling cocaine. Mayben, who lead the Bearcats to an NCAA berth last year, was eventually removed from their basketball program and school. This year the team not only lost Mayben and Fine but also other major contributors D.J. Rivera, Malik Alvin, Corey Chandler, and Paul Crosby. The team will definitely have trouble filling their shoes.


No reasons were given for the departure for anyone besides Mayben. All the remaining players have been allowed to remain in school. 


There has been major criticism surrounding the Bearcats coach Kevin Broadus. He said, "There's only one captain steering this ship, and that's me. If any of the young men in our program don't respect the decisions that have been made or the rules we have in place, then they need to move on with their lives." - www.espn.com

While there is still some confusion and uncertainty surrounding the situation, we here at TGR wish David Fine the best in his future endeavors. We have emailed with Fine in the past and he seems like a great guy who just got involved in an unfortunate situation.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, November 8, 2009

47 And Still Ticking

Chris Chelios is back in Chicago. Not in a Hawks jersey but rather in a Wolves jersey. When I read about the former Hawk/Red Wing Chris Chelios agreeing to play in the AHL I knew I had to find some sort of Jewish connection. So...I made a call to the Chicago Wolves front office and in fact owner Don Levin is Jewish. Yes!!!

Under Levin, the Wolves won the 2007-08 Calder Cup and hope to get back there with Chelios. One year removed from the Calder cup the Wolves finished 6th in the West. The Wolves needed to get better, so they signed one of the best defensemen in the history of the game. Although I assume the move was as much of a promotional one as it was to improve the team.

Chelios has to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Besides winning 3 Stanley cups, #7 (on the Hawks) has won the James Norris Memorial Trophy 3 times (defenseman of the year), has played in 11 All Star games, and participated in 4 Olympic games for Team USA.

Levin was responsible for bringing a player I grew up watching in Black, Red, and White (I loved the Roenick, Chelios, Goulet, Belfour years). And now he will be just a few rinks away, skating for the Atlanta Thrashers affiliate. While Chelios hopes to eventually play in the NHL this season (he did appear in the Stanley Cup finals last year), for now he is a part of the Wolves. And on behalf of all Chicago Hockey fans welcome back Cheli.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

This was by far my favorite week of TGR. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun getting the College basketball interview and researching teams. I am glad people can now know who are the Jewish ballers out there. Thanks to Dane Diliegro, Brett Harvey, and Coach Bernie Fine for the interviews.

Want more college ball...Later in the season we will bring you an interview with Yaniv Simpson of Monmouth and possibly Bryan Cohen of Bucknell.

POLL:
Looks like Gatorade is going to win the poll, but there is still a few more hours to vote. We will have a new one up next week.

Coming to TGR:
Next week we hope to look into the issues Dan Syder and the Washington Redskins are having. Also, the Chicago Wolves and Gabe Kapler have new deals.


TGR NEWS:
We have been working closely with FantasyDash.com about their upcoming site. Also, I have spoke with the Foundation for Jewish Camp about creating some new sports training/curriculum/initiatives.

We have reached out to some several old time baseball players to try to get some interviews.

Until next time have a great Shabbat.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interview with TGR BBall All American Brett Harvey

The first ever TGR Preseason basketball All Americans were released this week. One of them, Brett Harvey, was nice enough to spend some time with TGR and discuss his basketball career and this upcoming season. Harvey led the nation in free-throw percentage last year and this year he has his sights set on much more.

Interview
The Great Rabbino: Hey Brett thanks for being here and spending time on with TGR. Could you tell us a little bit about your basketball career?

Brett Harvey: I started since my first game. I was a two time rookie of the week. MAAC player of the week 1 time last year. Career high was 34 points vs Tennessee St. during my junior year. I recorded a double-double (11 assists 10 rebounds) vs. Manhattan as a sophomore. Currently, I have 896 career points and 350 assists. Should become a 1000 point scorer sometime this year.

TGR: What drew you to playing at Loyola MD?

Brett: I first committed to Manhattan college, but a few weeks later the head coach Bobby Gonzales left to take the Seton Hall job. I then re-opened my recruiting and that's when Loyola got in contact with me. I really liked that the school. It was in the middle of the city but had a good campus feel to it. The coaching staff was really honest with me and told me that I could start right away.

TGR: Last season you led the NCAA in free throw percentage. What was it like leading the country in that category? Did you receive some recognition for that?

Brett: It was a great accomplishment. I always take a lot foul shots when I'm working out. You never know if you will on the foul line with the game in your hands. I received a really nice plaque from the NCAA.

TGR: Is there anything you can tell our audience to help them improve their free throw shooting?

Brett: You have to practice it. When you are practicing, you need to put pressure on yourself so when the game comes you are used to shooting with the pressure.

TGR: How is the team shaping up this season? Anyone in particular to watch this season?

Brett: We should have a very strong team this season. We have pretty much the whole team coming back, a transfer from University of Maryland and two good freshman.

TGR: Who is the best player you have ever played against or guarded? What was that like?

Brett: Gerald Henderson or Earl Clark. Either one of them. They were both drafted in the NBA this year.

TGR: Who is your pre-season team to watch to win it all?

Brett: Kansas they have one of the best point guards in the country, a very good center and the rest of the team is solid. I think they will be tough to beat.

TGR: Brett thanking you for helping out TGR. Good luck this season we will be following.

Brett: No problem I am happy to do it.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Interview with Dane DiLiegro

Today we have one of our TGR All Americans Dan Diliegro. Dane was nice enough to spend some time answering some questions. He seems ready for a big season.




INTERVIEW:
The Great Rabbino: Hey Dane thanks for being here and spending time on with TGR.

Dane Diliegro: No problem, anything for the Jewish people.

TGR: Could you tell us a little bit about your basketball career?

Dane: I'm a junior at the UNH, and I've been the center there since my freshman year. Its been a lot of fun getting better and improving my game over the years.

TGR: What drew you to playing at New Hampshire? Did you have other offers?

Dane: I had one other offer at a division II school called University of New Haven.. oddly UNH as well.

TGR: What was it like playing and winning at the Maccabi games? Was there good comradery with the other guys?

Dane: Oh yes, we are all very close still to this day. It was a lot of fun. Dan Grunfeld and Todd Golden were amongst some of my closest buddies. Winning the gold was a thrilling as well.

TGR: Was there one Jewish ball player that was head and shoulders above the rest? How was Coach Pearl?

Dane: Dan Grunfeld was the most talented player there. He won MVP of the tournament and is clearly a very experienced basketball player. Coach pearl was great. A true gentlemen. He kept us all poised and ready to play at all times while also sticking to what we had to do. He is a great guy and I'd love to work with him again.

TGR: Did your experience at the Maccabi games enhance your Judaism? Do you feel more connected religiously or culturally?

Dane: Yes, seeing all of the sights such as the Western Wall, Massada, and the Dead Sea were all very religious experiences. I had a great time and definitely feel closer to my religion. It meant a lot to be there.

TGR: Who is the best player you have ever played against or guarded? What was that like?

Dane: Carmelo Anthony, he was a very talented player. There wasn't much I could do against him at the time.

TGR: Who is your pre-season team to watch to win it all?

Dane: I'm always a huge Syracuse fan. I really like Kansas this year.

TGR: Dane thanking you for helping out TGR. Good luck this season we will be following.

Dane: Thank you.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preseason TGR College Basketball All Americans

About six years ago I went to a jammed packed arena to watch my first ever Midnight Madness. Big Universities, like Illinois, have a huge event marking the "first" time basketball teams can begin practicing. Usually it contains some funny/motivational speeches, a scrimmage, and a dunk contest. I got to see Luther Head literally fly in the air, put the ball through his legs, and dunk it. October 16th 2009 teams held this seasons midnight madness. Many of those players participating were Jewish. So to kick off the College Basketball season we here at TGR are giving you 2009/10 Jewish College Basketball All Americans. Please note that some of these players might only have one Jewish parent (father or mother).


TGR 2009 First Team All American (*Projected TGR Player of the Year):
* Jon Scheyer - G - Duke - Senior: He is clearly at the top of this list. Scheyer will be a senior for the Duke Blue Devils, the best program in the country. Last season he averaged 14.9ppg, 2.8 apg, and 3.6rpg. Every college basketball fan in the country knows about Scheyer and his deadly range. When you play almost 33 minutes per game for Mike Krzyzewski you are most likely going to make every list in the country. Expect big things from #30. He is the front-runner for TGR's College basketball player of the year.



Bryan Cohen - G - Bucknell - Junior: In 2005 Bucknell upset Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Since then people love Bucknell because they bring that upset feeling every game. As a sophomore Cohen will be  a big part of the team having averaged 11.8 points per game last season.



 





Dane Diliegro - C - New Hampshire - Senior: The only Jewish player in the country with the rebounding skills he has. He pulled down 6.9rpg while scoring 5.7ppg. He played over 24 minutes per game last season and should see at least that much time this season. He is a big man 6'8 240lbs. with a big game.






Derek Glasser - G - Arizona State - Senior: After Scheyer the list begins with Glasser, which is not such a bad thing. Glasser averaged almost 9 points and 5 assists for the Sun Devils last year. And this year with James Harden in the NBA, expect bigger numbers and more playing time for Glasser.


Brett Harvey - G - Loyola (Md.) - Senior: While his role on the team changes from starter to 6th man he still was second on the team in scoring with 12.4 ppg. We also led the country in free throw percentage at 91%. He needs 104 more points to reach 1000 for his career. 

Zach Rosen - G - Penn - Junior: He is smart and he can ball. Putting up what would be a solid fantasy line with 8ppg, 5apg, and over 3rpg, Rosen should have another solid season. He was the Ivy League assists leader and 2009 Big 5 Rookie of the Year. Penn is usually one of the best Ivy League teams and Rosen will be a big piece of their puzzle.



Honorable Mentions:
Eitan Chemerinski - PF - Cornell - Freshman
Jake Cohen - F - Davidson -  Freshman

Charles Dewhurst - G - UNC Charlotte - Junior

David Fine - G - Binghamton - Senior

Ian Goldberg - G - Haverford - Sophomore
Robby Goldsmith - C - North Georgia - Freshman
Steve Gruber - G -Brown - Senior  
Jared Mintz - F - Lafayette - Junior

Steven Pearl - G- Tennessee -  Junior 
Alex Rubin - G -  Illinois State - Junior

Yaniv Simpson - G - Monmouth - Senior
Nimrod Tishman - G - Florida - Freshman
Jordan Weiner - G - UCSB - Junior



There are also several non D1 one players we would like you to know about. This list is headed by David Liss. Liss transferred from California to play at Pomona College. He was named All-League last year as a Junior.



Other Non D1 Players To Watch:
Steven Bader - F - Baruch 
Andrew Farber Miller- F -John Hopkins 
Noah Gottlieb - G - Chaminade 
Jon Greenberg,  - C - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 
Martin Leibovich - F - Yeshiva 
Jordan Marcus - G - Ithaca



There are also a good number of Jewish female players to look out for. Below are just a few: 
Julie Becker - G - Penn

Ariel Feinstein- G/F - Clark - Sophomore
Marisa Gobuty - G - Syracuse (may not play this season)

Rosalyn Gold-Onwude - G - Stanford

Yoyo Greenfield  - G - Yale 
Sarah Meisenberg - G - Franklin and Marshall 
Aly Hinton - F - Boston 

Naama Shafir - G - Toledo
Niki Williams - G -  Hofstra



There are several players to be aware of that sound Jewish but I have confirmation that they are not. Tom Herzog of MSU and David Scheider of William and Mary are both NOT Jewish.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, November 2, 2009

Upcoming 2009/10 NCAA Basketball Season with Coach Bernie Fine (No Relation)



I am so pumped for the NCAAs right now. I am not sure why. But in honor of my pumped-up-ness(?) We continue celebrating with a whole week of college basketball. Today we have an interview/article on Coach Bernie Fine of the Syracuse Orangemen (thank you to Rabbi Erez Sherman for hooking us up). 


Coach Fine is an associate head basketball coach at Syracuse University under legendary Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. He has been coaching for him since 1976, although he has been coaching basketball for over 40 years.


Obviously, when anyone my generation thinks Syracuse basketball they think Carmello Anthony who Fine told me was the best player he ever coached. Fine said, "Carmello is a great player  and an outstanding young man." When asked who the best Jewish player he coached, he replied "Danny Schayes". It is very cool that coach Fine got to coach a great Jewish ball player like Schayes. Here is where I would like to compare Schayes to Melo but I will embarrass Jews everywhere by doing so (but its nice that they were mentioned in the same interview). 


This year the Orangemen will have to deal with losing superstar and now NBA point guard Johnny Flynn. When asked about this upcoming year without Flynn Fine said "We have good players and should be fine." He seemed optimistic throughout the interview about his teams chances. He mentioned that the "Big East will be very good. Top teams might be a little weaker but the bottom teams are a lot stronger". So, the Orangemen will have their work cut out for them.

I asked him, that assuming the Orangemen make the Final Four (Erez probably thinks they actually will) who else does he seem joining them. He responded with "North Carolina, Kentucky and Villanova". That makes two of the teams Big East (SU and Nova). Those teams go head to head February 27th at SU. 

We spoke a little bit about Fine's coaching career as well. He mentioned that "We had been to the Championship game before, but it was great to win it (this refers to their 2003 title)." He also said that he encourages his players to "be good people and work hard".   


Besides being a great coach Fine spends much of his time giving back. He serves as the adviser to the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity on campus (sweet) and is involved with Boy's Club and Make-a-Wish Foundation. Fine is no doubt a great coach with an NCAA title ring. He has helped produce some great players including Carmello Anthonyy, Rony Seikaly, and Etan Thomas. But he is also a great guy and involved with his Jewish communtiy.


We here at TGR wish Coach Fine, The Orangemen, and Erez good luck. Although if it comes down to the Illini and SU...there is no question which Orange would prevail...ILL-INI.

Below is a link to a podcast featuring Coach Fine.
http://podcasting.fia.net/5868/3998608.mp3



And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Newest Gator Nimord Tishman Cleared to Play


Today begins a HUGE week at TGR. We will be talking college basketball all week long. We begin with a story that has been making noise throughout the summer and has finally come to an end. The University of Florida received a commitment from Israeli guard Nimrod Tishman to play for Billy Donovan and company. This move was in large part because of the early departure of Nick Calathes. Calathes entered the draft early but was a low pick. He is now playing in Greece in the Euro-league.


Donovan needed a solid replacement. After all Calathes, a former McDonald's All American, was his leading... everything. So he reached out to Israeli phenom Tishman. Tishman is 6'5 and already has real big game experience. Tishman averaged over 18 ppg,  4 rpg and 2 apg at the Under 18 Euro Championships this summer. He has also played for the club team Maccabi-Tel Aviv while in high school. Donovan is hopefully this will transfer into big time play for the Gators this year. 


While Donovan is down playing how much Tishman will contribute this season, I personally believe he is doing that just to encourage his other players. Tishman was clearly brought in to replace Calathes, which is a big void. Also, with the skills of someone like Tishman it will be hard to keep him on the bench. The other guards that the Gators are carrying are Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Ray Shipman. Boynton is a good looking freshman who might only be around for one year.



Tishman has been able to practice with the team. Unfortunately, Tishman signed late and there are many hoops to jump through via the NCAA to allow overseas players. Now that all is settled and Tishman can play, expect this Israeli to be a stud on the court. Not to say he will make a huge impact this year, but I expect big things from the 6'5 guard. He can handle the ball and can score at will. Donovan has coached some great guards and Tishman will be added to the list that includes Calathes, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, and Tony Delk. 


Check out the video below.






Mazel Tov and B'Hatzlacha (good luck) to Tishman.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine