Sam Iorio signed a 3-year deal with Hapoel Beer Sheva as the 25-year old who played for Niagara College also featured for the USA Maccabiah team that won the Gold medal back in the summer of 2023. The Allentown native played in three different college programs beginning at American University for his freshman and sophomore years then sat out a season as a transfer to South Alabama and then joined Niagara for his final two years of eligibility. This past year, the American – Israeli forward averaged 8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 30 games.
To find out more about who Iorio is and what can be expected from the big man, The Sports Rabbi was in touch with a number of former teammates, past coach, while also hearing from the club’s executives as well.
Tomer Yaron, Beer Sheva’s began: The club’s sports director Daniel Ravitz has been following Sam for a number of years and has seen how he has developed. He has a variety of qualities that we are looking for in the position and has the mental toughness to be a significant part of the franchise in the coming years. We have been waiting patiently for Sam to finish his college chapter and I am very happy about him joining the team.
Daniel Ravitz, the sporting director: Sam has the potential to develop into a very good domestic player in Israel. We are very happy that we were able to sign him on a long-term contract and we are sure that all parties will benefit from this.
Maccabiah head coach, former star college player and sports media personality Doug Gottlieb also chimed in about Iorio: Sam is a very talented and versatile scorer. He is an incredibly passionate young man who loves his team and teammates, he works incredibly hard at his craft and his intense focus on basketball is virtually unmatched. Sam Iorio will be very productive in Israel.
Lior Berman: Sam is the best kind of teammate. He came into the Maccabi Games with an injury he was just getting over so he couldn’t play at the level he wanted to at first. But that didn’t get him down at all. He was there for the team. A true team guy. He ended up getting back healthy towards the end of the games and was a joy to play with. Very unselfish and a fierce competitor.
Ethan Lasko: Great player, with a great work ethic. He was a great teammate to play with and will be the same in Israel.
American University Teammate Marvin Bragg: Sam was a great guy man. We shared a lot of laughs as teammates for sure lol. Just a guy who works hard on his game consistently. And his shot is damn near money every time it leaves his hands.
South Alabama Teammates:
Kayo Goncalves: I can say that Sam is not only a great person and a great teammate, but he is also hardworker and a focused person. Sam, in my opinion, is a 3 level scorer who is great on the low post, has a good drive, and also a great shot too. Sam is funny and a great person to be around. I can say that I really enjoyed playing with him because of his talent but also who he is as a person. He is the type of teammate that you want to spend time with outside the court. I was fortunate to have played with Sam and I’m fortunate to be able to call him a friend.
KK Curry: He’s a great teammate and comes to work everyday. When he plays he leaves it all out there and definitely has the best basketball IQ I have every been around.
Adam Sizemore: Sam was the ultimate teammate on and off the court 7 days a week. There was many times Sam would call me and be like “hey man. I cooked dinner for you. Come over” or there would be times where he would hold me to a standard on the court that not many other people did. He truly gets the most out of his ability and his teammates’ as well.
John Petteway: Sam is a guy with great character and background. Comes from a great family with basketball history. Sam is one of the best shooters I have played with and has great IQ for the game. You guys are getting a great player that comes to work everyday and loves the game of basketball
Braxton Bayless: He’s a great big to play off of. He’s very unselfish and always looking to make his teammates better and he has the ability to space the floor! He is always trying to be on the same page as his point guard as well making sure we had a good relationship on and off the court.
Noah Thomasson: He’s a competitor. He knows how to play the game. Sam was definitely one of the most important pieces to our team this past year with his maturity and his skill set… he’s about to do big things, I’m proud of him.