1) Hapoel Beer Sheva will begin play in the first round of Champions League qualification when they visit Estonia and league winners FC Flora Tallinn on July 10/11. The second leg will be a week later on July 17/18 at Toto Turner Stadium in Beer Sheva. If the Israeli league champions make it past Flora they’ll face Croatian powerhouse titleholders Dinamo Zagreb on July 24/25 and July 31/August 1 in the second round.
Maccabi Tel Aviv BC
2) Maccabi Tel Aviv BC signed guard Kendrick Ray for the upcoming 2018/19 campaign. Ray played for Nymburk of the Czech League where he was named MVP this past season under Israeli coach Oren Amiel. The Bronx, NY native scored 13.6ppg in domestic action and 15.3ppg in Champions League play. He scored a season best 30 points against AEK Athens in a 2-game Round of 16 series on the CL. Ray told the official Maccabi website, “I’m excited to join Maccabi. I’ve heard a lot about the team’s amazing tradition and the fantastic fans. I know the team just won the league title. I can’t wait to join the team of champions. I’ll see you soon!”
3) The Israel Football Premier League Ligat Ha’Al released the 2018/19 Schedule and there are a number of tasty appetizers to begin the season off. Maccabi Tel Aviv will host Maccabi Haifa on Matchday 1 in August 25th and the following week they’ll visit the defending champs Hapoel Beer Sheva. The Tel Aviv Derby between Maccabi and Hapoel returns after a one year hiatus on MD 5 September 29th. Toto Cup action begins on July 28th while Israel’s second division, the Leumit League also determined its schedule for the upcoming campaign.
4) The Sports Rabbi spoke to The Jerusalem Post’s Gil Hoffman about Israel and the World Cup. CLICK HERE for a fun listen!
Quick Hits – Happy 50th Birthday to Nadav Henefeld who played for UCONN, Hapoel Galil Elyon and Maccabi Tel Aviv…Modi Maor returns to the Israel Basketball scene and signed a 3-year contract to be the assistant coach at Hapoel Holon under Dan Shamir…Yonatan Alon moves from Holon to Jerusalem to work alongside Oded Katash as the Reds new assistant coach…Hapoel Holon will play in the FIBA Champions League next season…On Wednesday Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv will find out who they will face in the first round of Europa League qualifying as well as the second round should they advance…Hapoel Haifa will enter the qualification in the 2nd round of play.