Thursday, December 01, 2011

Farmar in Israel, LeBron and Kobe at the JCC, and Hebrew with Amare Stoudem

NBA basketball players got a much longer summer vacation than they expected because of the lockout. It feels odd to have gone through the entire month of November without any professional basketball games to watch.

So what have these NBA stars been doing with their newly found free time? NBA player Jordan Farmar has been playing in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Farmar, whose mother is Jewish and step-father is a Jewish Israeli, has spent the NBA lockout playing in front of sellout crowds at Yad Eliyahu Arena. He is the first Jewish player in the NBA since Danny Schayes, son of NBA Hall-of-Famer Dolph Schayes, retired in 1999.

A number of other NBA stars have been hooping it up at local Jewish Community Centers. reported that LeBron James was a last minute fill-in for a team at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The second he stepped on the court LeBron "instantly became the best player to ever compete in the Herbert S. Diamond league." Apparently, the former Cleveland Cavaliers player got a call from some of his friends who had a 7:30 PM game at the JCC and King James was happy to oblige. He led his squad to a ten point victory.

The NBA Lockout led superstars like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James
to play at their local Jewish Community Center (JCC)

After the game, LeBron James tweeted "Just got done hooping in the JCC league. So funny but good run @RichPaul4 had a few 3's #basketballneverstops." Here's a video clip of LeBron playing at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Cleveland:

While LeBron was playing in the gym of the Cleveland JCC, his nemesis Kobe Bryant was having a private training session at a Jewish Community Center in Irvine, California. Once again it was that broke the story (that means some 12-year-old kid at the JCC called it in). JTA reports, "the Los Angeles Lakers' star guard, according to the TMZ website, brought a trainer to the Southern California JCC to work on shooting drills and cardio training as spectators watched.

Here's the video of Kobe Bryant at the JCC in Irvine:

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And if Kobe and LeBron are becoming regulars at the JCC that means that the New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire has to do something even more Jewish than that after discovering there was Jewish heritage on his mother's side last year. Don't worry, the 6-foot-10 superstar who visited Israel for the first time last year now says he's interested in opening a Hebrew school, according to the New York Daily News. "An unnamed source told the newspaper that Stoudemire has discussed opening a school that would focus on teaching the Hebrew language and Jewish history, though no school is actually in the works."

But who will teach at the Hebrew School Amar'e Stoudemire opens? He will of course. Here's Stoudemire's first Hebrew lesson:

Well, that was Tov Meod!

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