1) Tamir Blatt signed with Hapoel Jerusalem for the upcoming 2018/19 season and will join forces with head coach Oded Katash. Blatt why played last season with State Cup Holders Hapoel Holon and Katash are very familiar with each other from not only the Senior Israel National Team but also the Under-20 side and Hapoel Tel Aviv. They have a long term relationship which can only help both Blatt, the son of coach David Blatt and Hapoel Jerusalem. However, the signing creates a bit of an issue at the guard position at the Reds with Bar Timor, Yogev Ohayon and J’Covan Brown all playing at the same spot on the floor. Timor, whose minutes were severely reduced against Ukraine and Greece should be concerned about what his time will look like next season with the same holding true for Ohayon. Interesting days ahead at Jerusalem. Interesting days.
2) Draymond Green of the World Champion Golden State Warriors is currently in Israel with the FIDF (Friends of the Israel Defense Forces). The forward will be in the country for 4 days and had the opportunity to meet up with the President of Israel, Ruby Rivlin while also checking out army bases as well. It’s great to see such a high profile figure in Israel and as always you better look out when you’re walking around because you never ever know who you may bump into. Rivlin commented to Green, “It’s not everyday that I meet an All Star. You didn’t have a simple task, defending LeBron James. You’re an amazing team, and it was a true pleasure to watch you play. I hope this will only be the first of many visits.”
3) Nes Ziona has decided to enter the FIBA Europe Cup competition as the surprise package team continues to make their stamp on the Israeli basketball scene after playing in the quarterfinals against Maccabi Tel Aviv this past season. With a very loyal fan base and tremendous municipal support, Nes Ziona has resigned a number fo their foreigners including Daequan Cook and Gary Browne Ramirez and will look to make a dent in continental play. A bold move by the team and credit must go to them for the decision to take the next step in the basketball world.
4) Diana Weisman broke Esther Roth-Shachamarov’s 100 meter dash record that was set 46 years ago at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Weisman’s time of 11.38 seconds bested Roth-Shachamarov’s 11.45 seconds as the 19-year old also captured the 200 meters on Thursday as well. Weisman is one of the great Blue & White hopes in the area of track and field.
Quick Hits – Hapoel Holon BC added Amit Simhon who starred with Hapoel Eilat last season…Jonathan Skjöldebrand moved from Ironi Nahariya BC to Hapoel Eilat…Pierre Jackson who was with Maccabi Tel Aviv last season signed in China with the Beijing Fly Dragons…Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Kendrick Ray played 26 minutes and scored 7 points for the Utah Jazz in NBA Summer League play…David Cohn from William & Mary signed with Hapoel Eilat BC and Gabe Levin inked with Bnei Herzliya after starring for Long Beach State…Bogdan Bliznyuk joined Bnei Herzliya after playing at Eastern Washington…Beitar Jerusalem won their last friendly of training camp 2:0…Maccabi Haifa also picked up a 4:0 win in preseason action…