Elitzur Ramle announced the signing of Czech center/forward Renata Březinová earlier this week after releasing the injured Sarah Sagerer. Březinová will be familiar to Israeli fans, as she top-scored for Czechia with 14 points against the Blue & White in the decisive 2023 Women’s FIBA EuroBasket group game which sent her team past the group stage in Tel Aviv and left the Israeli team winless in the tournament. Březinová, a veteran with both EuroLeague and EuroCup experience, will help in Ramle’s quest both in Europe and at home this upcoming season.
The defending Israeli League Champions, with new coach Daniel Gutt, are led by national team captain Eden Rotberg. In addition to Březinová, the team includes Yarden Danan, Danielle Raber, Jennie Simms, Tslil Vitori, Ofir Kirstein, Jillian Alleyne (USA), Brittany Brown (USA) and Weronika Telenga (Poland).
Last week, Ramle held an open practice session in the leadup to the season. It was a chance for the fans to meet the 2023-24 squad and to have photos with the players after they trained earlier with Ramle’s junior teams.
“I think it’s amazing,” Alleyne commented of the event to The Sports Rabbi. “I think Ramle has a lot of support, I think they support their players and their team through and through no matter what and it’s really gool to see their enthusiasm for us before the season even starts. It was really nice just meet everyone and get familiar with their faces. We know they’re going to be at every game, so it was good.”
“It’s very much a family atmosphere here,” Brown said. “Also, just seeing the little girls playing basketball and things like that, the same like we did, supporting each other, supporting young girls that want to play basketball too, that was very cool to me.”
Alleyne and Brown are both returning to Israel after playing last season with Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan (together with current teammate Vitori) and they’re both excited to see how their new team, with a new coach and mostly new team (Rotberg and Danan are the only ones continuing from last season’s championship).
“I think the biggest challenge is realizing what each of us bring to the team,” Brown said of the challenge the new season brings with Alleyne. “We’re all really good players and we are unique in different ways. How we mesh that together as a group, I think that it’s going to be really interesting, so I’m excited for that.”
“I think that we have a really good team,” Alleyne concurred. “Coach Danny [Gutt] took a lot of time and effort to make the right choices for us to be a team and I like what we have. So it’s really going to be about how we put it together and become the best versions of ourselves.”
Ramle will start its final preparations for the season in its quarter-final matchup against Maccabi Haifa in the Athena Winner Tournament on Thursday October 5. They will then kickoff their EuroCup campaign at home against the Caledonian Gladiators from Great Britain on October 12, and Round 1 of the Athena Winner League away at Hapoel Bnot Petah Tikvah on October 16.