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Happy Friday, sports fans!
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9, which means the deals will start rolling any minute.
The Washington Wizards made a significant move this week, trading forward Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. Team president Tommy Sheppard said getting Deni Avdija more playing time was a key factor in the move.
“When we really looked at what we needed was to get Deni more responsibility, more opportunity to play,” Sheppard said.
How did the NBA’s lone Israeli player respond? He dropped 15 points on Tuesday.
Ryan Turell’s New York homecoming
When the Motor City Cruise take the court against the Long Island Nets in an NBA G League matchup in New York next weekend, Los Angeles native Ryan Turell will be cheered on more than the typical road team’s bench player.
That’s because the Feb. 4 matchup will be the former Yeshiva University star’s first game back in New York, and Y.U. fans plan to show up in full-force.
“I don’t think people realize, there’s so many Y.U. fans that have watched Ryan play for four years at Y.U., and now they’re gonna have a chance to see him in a G League uniform in New York,” said Simmy Cohen, a Y.U. superfan who plans to attend the game.
The game was originally scheduled for 11 a.m., in the middle of Shabbat.
“We just told the Nets, hey, by the way, you have Ryan Turell, it’s his return to New York, a lot of Jews from Long Island and the surrounding area would love to attend, if you made the game after sundown,” said Brad Turell, Ryan’s father.
Within 24 hours, the game was moved to 7 p.m.
Read more about Turell’s highly-anticipated return to New York right here.
WHAM! Brooklyn Nets fans are likely familiar with Bruce Reznick, the octogenarian superfan who goes by “Mr. Whammy” and taunts opposing players with his signature hand gestures. Reznick, who turns 87 on Wednesday, may be onto something — opposing teams have a lower foul shot percentage in Brooklyn than against other teams.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE… The nominees for the 2023 Hobey Baker award for best collegiate men’s ice hockey player have been announced, and Devon Levi, Luke Hughes and Yaniv Perets are all candidates. Voting is now open; the ten finalists will be announced in March, and the winner in April.
BRAD NEWS. Former MLB skipper and current Team Israel coach Brad Ausmus was reportedly a finalist for the general manager opening with the defending champion Houston Astros. But he lost out to Atlanta Braves scouting executive Dana Brown.
MAY HER MEMORY BE A BLESSING. This week we are remembering Rebecca Lorch, a champion strongwoman who won 2020’s America’s Strongest Woman competition in her weight class. While her family celebrated the first night of Hanukkah on Dec. 18, Lorch took her own life. She was 32.
In the presence of greatness
More than 350 Jewish athletes from around the world gathered in Germany earlier this month for the first Maccabi Winter Games since 1936. Yes, you read all of those facts correctly.
Maccabi USA sent around 30 competitors, who took home three gold, six silver, and nine bronze medals. But for 18-year-old skier Bobby Eilers, one of the best parts of the experience happened off the slopes. Shaul Ladany, who survived both the Holocaust and the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage massacre, visited the games to speak with the athletes and share his experience.
“Listening to Ladany speak was one of the highlights of the games,” Eilers said, according to Maccabi USA. “If we didn’t compete at all I would have been satisfied just hearing such an incredible story of survival.”
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day — learn more about Ladany’s incredible story here.
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
🏒 IN HOCKEY…
Tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET, Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils take on the Dallas Stars. Check out this insane pass Hughes made — from his knees — to set up a game-winning overtime goal earlier this week. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers host the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. Hyman was honored by the NHL for his stellar nine-point performance last week.
🏀 IN BASKETBALL…
Ryan Turell and the Cruise are in Georgia this weekend to take on the College Park Skyhawks tonight at 7 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Deni Avdija and the Wizards face the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
⛳️ IN GOLF…
Max Homa is in San Diego this weekend for the Farmers Insurance Open. Homa began the year by tying for third place at the Tournament of Champions. He is currently ranked No. 16 in the PGA Tour (but definitely No. 1 in humor).
Jewish teammates FTW
Team Israel outfielder Kevin Pillar has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. If he makes the big league club, Pillar will be teammates with Jewish ace Max Fried.