The Sports Rabbi in The Jerusalem Post features an Interview Preview with Deni Avdija! “DENI AVDIJA READY TO STEP UP FOR BLUE-AND-WHITE” – Host Israel looks to repeat as U20 European basketball champion with NBA lottery prospect at the helm!
As we head into the Under-20 European Basketball Championships, The Sports Rabbi will have an interview a day with some of the players on the team. Today Yotam Hanochi from Hapoel Gilboa/Galil joins us to talk about the competition and his young career to date:
“It’s great to be a part of the Under-20 Israel National Team and we’re excited about hosting the European Championship here in Israel.”
“I was born in the north and I began playing basketball when I was 8 years old. I actually started off playing soccer and I was a goalkeeper but the director of the basketball department saw me and that was the end of my soccer career. He saw my potential as I was tall and from the first practice I was off and running.”
“I really enjoyed watching Kobe Bryant as a child. His personality and what he brings onto the court was extraordinary. When he won the title two season in a row I was in awe. Today, I am super impressed with Kawhi Leonard and the way he carries himself as well as how he plays on both sides of the court.”
Recovering from injury:
“I tore by ACL and MCL a little over a year ago and I underwent surgery last summer to repair it. I recovered well and I feel really good going into the championships.”
“My dream is to play at the highest levels whatever that may be, the NBA, Euroleague. I am always striving to be the best that I can be.”
About coach Halachmi:
“Coach Ariel Beit Halachmi is first and foremost a special person. I played with him for two seasons at Gilboa and I was able to get to know him really well. It’s great to be with him as well with the National Team.”
Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Holon and Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion all found out who their European opponents will be in the Champions League and EuroCup respectively.
Jerusalem will be in a BCL group that includes: AEK, Bandirma, Rasta Vechta, Anwil Wloclawek, Pau- Otrhez and 2 qualifiers.
Holon will face the likes of Sassari, Manresa, Turk Telekom, Oostende, Strasbourg and 2 qualifiers in their BCL group.
Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion will play in the EuroCup this season and have an attractive group that features Promitheas, Ulm, Andorra, Monaco, Bologna.