Power in the paint: Willy Workman does it all down low for Jerusalem in win over Haifa

Apr 18, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Not every player gives 110% every single time they hit the floor. Some will mail it in on occasion, others will just go through the motions while there are also a number that will just do the bare minimum required of them.

Willy Workman is one player that will never be associated with any of the above. Even if he wanted to, it would be impossible for Workman not to give 200% both on and off of the court as he continues to hone his trade and be a force, a true power in the paint.

In Hapoel Jerusalem’s 80-67 win over Hapoel Haifa, the forward seems to always worm his way into the right position to cause havoc for the opposing team. Whether it’s grabbing a rebound on either end of the floor or putting up a “Willy Shot” in the key, it may never look like a work of art similar to the Mona Lisa but more like that kindergarten child with hand paint.

Willy Workman – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

He mucks it up and makes his team better by his desire and drive to do what he can for his team to win. Workman is the guy that you hate playing against but would love to have on your team.

The bottom line is that Willy is Willy and Hapoel Jerusalem along with their head coach Yotam Halperin are happy he is with them doing what he does best after scoring 14 points in 16 minutes while adding 6 rebounds, “Willy is a force and when he is good our lives are much easier. He is someone who is very easy to advise, to be with and he’s just very coachable.”

Being very coachable is definitely Workman’s MO as he has been with a number of bench bosses over the course of his career which has seen him play for a number of teams in Israel’s top two divisions. Through the good times and the rough times no matter what the situation is, Workman will lay it all out on the line.

Yotam Halperin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“As a coach it’s great to have him with you,” Halperin continued. “Even when he is not having a good game and he knows that he isn’t playing well he is still there with his high level of intensity. The way he comes into every game and every practice, his attitude is just a pleasure for any coach. When he has a game like he did against Haifa coming off of the bench it’s terrific for us.”

In fact, Jerusalem’s bench play was excellent against Hapoel Haifa with 26 points in a combined 63 minutes compared to just 9 points in 50 minutes which helped the Reds to the victory Haleprin explained.

“The bench as very good today no matter who came on to play. They were all there and gave something especially when you miss a player like Retin Obasohan. We stayed together as a team and we’re terrific.”

Workman understood that he along with the rest of the bench mob would have to step up and play an important part in order for his team to take the win, “Ret is our leader and a great player. He’s the leading scorer and our point guard. When he is not playing everyone has to play better and grit it out and do different things because he is the main ball handler so we have to share that responsibility. It’s the same as every other basketball team, when someone goes out we all have to raise our collective level and we did that. I hope that we can keep doing that.”

Itay Segev and Willy Workman – Photo Credit: FIBA

Another player who helped Jerusalem in this game was Itay Segev who also puts in maximum effort for his team on the floor Halperin said, “Itay is just like Willy. They may not be the most talented players but are the first to get to the gym and they are the most open minded. When a coach has these types of players available to him it gives one a lot of confidence.”

So what is Workman’s secret to success on the court?

“I live from the random actions of the game and I probably had 3-4 baskets off of offensive rebounds. You can go to the glass every time and the ball doesn’t bounce your way and that has happened this season. Sometimes they all come to you and that is what happened in this game. The real trick is that you got to go for every ball and the law of averages says that they will come to you and you’ll score some points.”

Jerusalem had close to 6,000 fans in attendance for the Chol HaMoed Pesach game and that also made one Willy Workman pretty happy, “With over 6000 fans in attendance how can I not go for the rebound. When there are 6,000 people that have your back it’s lovely.”

Willy Workman – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Right after the holiday, Jerusalem and Workman will face one of their nemesis’s in Hapoel Holon who also happen to be the team that he played with last season. But no matter who the opponent is, the Massachusetts native will prepare as he always does.

“Every game is special and I hate to give the politically correct answer but it’s the truth I try to focus on every game the same and that creates consistency. I would do the same tomorrow as I would do after my worst game of the season. This is probably the best game of the seasons and when you focus on that the results will come.”

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