“Hopefully we will continue the upward trend under Guy” Mekel looks ahead to Nat’l Team action under Goodes as Israel Basketball Association rebrands

Nov 9, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

The Israel Basketball Association unveiled a brand new logo and branding on Tuesday at a festive event attended my players and coaches of the Israel National Men’s and Women’s teams at the Tel Aviv Port.

Guy Pnini & Eden Rotberg – Photo Credit: IBBA

The team jerseys and outerwear will be manufactured by NIKE and will be worn this week when the Women’s team under the direction of new coach Sharon Drucker will take on Latvia in Eurobasket qualifying at the Drive In Arena on Thursday at 6pm Israel time. Later on in the month the Men’s squad will host Poland and travel to Estonia in World Cup qualifying with their new coach Guy Goodes on the sidelines as well.

Guy Goodes & Sharon Drucker – Photo Credit: IBBA

Men’s Captain Gal Mekel spoke to The Sports Rabbi about the new look squad, “It’s always exciting to be with the National team and I always want to be in this situation. Even if I am injured I will always do my utmost to play in the games and that will be the case here once again.”

Mekel knows that as the team has improved there is more attention being given to the results with the hope that the Blue & White will advance to the World Cup, “There are always expectations and we have a good national team as we have seen over the past few years. Hopefully we will continue this upward trend under Guy Goodes after taking over from Oded Katash.”

Gal Mekel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Interestingly enough Mekel has never played under Goodes at any level and this will mark the first time the two will combine forces, “I never have played under Guy, but I have spoken to him on occasion. I have found him to be a straight shooter and a very good coach who has been at every level. We are all happy to play under his direction and are looking forward to it.”

Thanks to the National Team’s efforts to build a large talent pool, Israel now boasts many quality players who can feature for the country, “We have a lot of players who are coming up and there is an excellent future ahead for the national team. We have but something up over the past few years and we now have to bear the fruits of this labour in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and European Championships this summer.”

Gal Mekel – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Although there may be a big talent pool, Israeli will still need to make its way through a tough group that includes Germany, Poland and Estonia, “It won’t be simple as we are playing national teams of the highest level but we believe that the work that has been done the past few years with getting to know one another will allow us to dream and do some very good things.”

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