Tashawn Thomas heads back to US, EuroCup asks Jerusalem to return, Katash, Timor, Harel readies for basketball’s return

Jun 8, 2020 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem held a press conference to discuss the resumption of the 2019/20 season as CEO Guy Harel, Head Coach Oded Katash and Captain Bar Timor all spoke about the return of basketball to Israel.

Guy Harel began the proceedings with an opening statement, “We had to make a difficult decision to halt the league in March and I didn’t see how we would come back. But a month ago we were able to come back and return basketball to Israel under very difficult conditions. I want to say that we should stop the nonsense that has been going on the last few days and I also had a part in this.

I’m happy that we were able to bring back the Israeli players and we were able to bring back six of the seven players although J’Covan Brown had to go back to his family and Tashawn Thomas will as well.”

Harel also spoke about the possibility of still holding the Basketball Champions League Tournament at the end of September/early October:
“I am hoping that the tournament will take place either here or at another location. Without fans I don’t see the tournament taking place, but we will do our best that we can and maybe perhaps even have fans to finish this season.”

About the statements Jordi Bertomeu made about Jerusalem being a small club:
“The EuroCup is in a tough place and ten days ago they called to invite us back to the competition.”

The loss of J’Covan Brown and Tashawn Thomas:
“I’m sure all of the clubs worked hard to bring back their players and it’s too bad that the players needed to go back to the United States but better that they go back if they are having an issue being here. I’m very content with the squad that will be on the court in June 20th and hopefully on July 30th as well.”

Head Coach Oded Katash spoke about getting back to basketball:
“I’m happy that we have been able to return and up until the Coronavirus we were playing great basketball. It’s not easy to come back and although basketball is a team sport its also up to the individual players. Even though J’Covan and Tashawn won’t be with us we will do the best that we can under the circumstances.”

Signing Jeremy Pargo:
“Just two weeks ago we had a Zoom call with the Gilboa Galil team that won the championship. Jeremy was a dominant player on that team and although he’s not the same player he was it’s great to be back with him once again.”

The importance of fitness coach Roberto Iezzi:
“With all of the issues that we’ve had now, Roberto the fitness coach has been doing a tremendous amount of work. I’ve heard a lot of conversations that it may be dangerous to play but the players are in good shape and if you are playing sports then we are following Roberto’s lead in getting the players back to their best shape.”

About the system the team will play going forward:
“All of the players know how to play and they will fit into the system which we won’t change. Of course we will miss Tashawn and his size. We aren’t looking into bringing a player in for him and once

The health situation:
“We trust those that made he decisions and just two months ago we just wanted to have players practice one on one and we couldn’t. But everything will take time.”

Captain Bar Timor chimed in as well, “I’m very happy that the league is coming back and I have to give credit to both the Israeli players and foreigners who are here and I want to wish J’Covan and Tashawn the best who have to go back. They have contributed so much to our team.”

The biggest challenge:
“I think the biggest challenge is to handle the changes that we have made and go aback to the basketball we played before. We will each have to bring more due to the loss of Jcovam and Tashawn and will have to bring extra to fill that vacuum.”

About the quatrains restrictions:
“We are doing the most we can to make the quarantine as easy as possible and there may be some lightening up the restrictions. We are here and will follow the rules and regulations as they are.”

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