Washington University’s Men’s and Women’s Team pose for a picture at the NHBT’13 registration
By: David Roumani
Every tournament needs someone like me. Some guy who ‘claims’ to know about all the teams and all the athletes. Tip-off is in 48 hours, and it’s time for some inside information as to why each team is deserving of the sanctified Kiddish Cup.
For those who might doubt my abilities to stalk Jewish student-athletes, my resume includes working for the 2012 Sarachek Broadcast Team, playing ball with Yeshiva U. students (which is essentially half the tournament’s athletes right?), and spending a copious amount of time stalking JvElite during high school.
Here We Go!
1) BARUCH (Lapson): It’s quite simple; this team should be really good. Coming fresh off his selection to the Skyline’s All Conference selection, Gil Bash should be a force to reckon with thanks to his ability to get to the basket and flat out score. Dovie Hoffman has scored 1000+ points for an NCCA basketball team. The combination of Bash, Hoffman, and a big presence inside from Lapson makes this team one of the more dangerous ones in the tournament.
2) BOSTON U. (Packer): A Maimonides reunion will take place on the court, and it won’t be fun if you plan on guarding one of BOSTON U’s quick guards. Aaron Schacht and Avi Packer just might run opponents off the court, and Israeli import Paul Althotz will look to control the paint. Oh, and about Packer, it might behoove you to have a girl guard him – focus is key!
3) COLOMBIA U. (Abramson): Max Feldstein and Mike Berg must have some chemistry left. It’s impossible that this dynamic duo that kept Ramaz atop national rankings for years has lost it’s niche. Also, New Yorker’s are used to having their way, on and off the court.
4) GOLDEN GATE (Charnoff): This team knows one thing, and one thing only – how to win off the court. We talk about camaraderie and this team is a prime example of players who just want to have fun. Look for one of Golden Gate’s ‘Big 3’ (Charnoff, Aiken, Felder) in the next edition of Forbes’ 40 under 40, or perhaps in the oval office sometime very, very soon.
5) GOUCHER (Mufson): This team is flat out scary. The run the court exceptionally well, show tremendous hustle, and may or may not play NCCA basketball. I’m taking about the entire team. Look for one of these very competitive players to take over and lead this team to the late rounds of the tournament. They’ll do what it takes, even if means a bloody body part along the way.
6) MARYLAND (Wertheimer): My only concern is this team’s lack of depth. On a positive note, this team’s captain is two time Sarachek MVP. Their center is quite tall, and Jonny Nulman is the most passionate basketball player I have ever met. Just to re-iterate my earlier point – this team has no subs.
7) MARYLAND (Bain): Graduating senior Captain Daniel Bain will look to rely on experience and wisdom. This team could put points up in a hurry thank to Max Newman’s long range and Jake Greenberg’s ability to score from pretty much anywhere. And for those who weren’t sure, Benjy Karlin does still attend UMD, and will be playing basketball for the first time in a few years.
8) MARYLAND (Langer): Last year’s tournament runner-up is back, and these guys are hungry. Jonah Wiesel is absolutely terrific, and probably one of the best players to never compete in Sarachek. His selfishness but also his ability to take over games if needed is why I’m choosing this team to win this year’s tournament. He’ll have help from former Frisch standout Jason Langer, and Naham Shapiro, whose athleticism is inhuman. Before I forget, everyone on this team can shoot from beyond the arch; really well.
9) Yeshiva (Lazaros): This team COULD be the biggest surprise of the tournament. What’s intriguing is how Jack Gindi and Eli Osdoba will fair in their 1st tournament appearance. Both players made a name for themselves on their respective high school teams and will have help from YU big-man Arman Davitan.
10) Yeshiva (Ritholtz): Opponents should have a blast playing this team. Captain Benjy Rithotlz is arguably the best 3-pt. shooter in the tournament, and was a big reason why his team were crowned Tournament Champions in 2012. Watch out for Dov Levine, while he may seem small and not your typical post presence, he is ferocious on the boards, and could be this team’s most important role player.
11) DREXEL: All-star center Sammy Blivaiss, 6’5″, has been in the gym tirelessly working on his alley-oop dunks and is sure to throw it down over the course of the tournament. He courteously declined a workout with the Philadelphia 76ers to come represent his school in the tourney. Sharp-shooting guards Aaron Cohn and Ari Bressman will look to ‘make it rain’ from deep and penetrate the lane
12) MARYLAND (Haramati): Floor marshal Josh Charnoff doesn’t turn the ball over – ever. He’ll have help from scoring machine Ehud Hakakian and will be reunited with his high school big man Aaron Zuckerman.
13) MARYLAND (Alhadef): Cornell’s Eitan Chemerinski was supposed to be on this team, which would have made them instant favorites. Without him, I still like this team’s chances as they will have plenty of guys to score. Just take a look at their starting five. No one really stands out, they’re just all really good.
14) RIETS: This tournament brings together Jews of all denominations; even those going for Smicha. If Ari Raskas, Joseph Strauss and Tani Weissman, can remember how to put up points as well as they did in their Rambam days, they will be one of the tournaments more dangerous teams. Their other weapon is guard Benjy Waxman, who is just a flat out hustler.
15) WISCONSON: These badgers are known for playing great team basketball, a factor that is often overlooked comes tournament time. Each player on the team is 5’10, which is significant – somehow.
16) QUEENS: Silver Spring native Zach Donner and Yoni Jaskoll will be crucial to this team’s success. Tell someone to keep an eye on Ike Franco, when he get’s hot – he doesn’t miss.
(more teams to come later…)