“Yam can be a leading player in the NBA” Celtics draft pick Madar broken down by youth coach Yoram Avisror

Jul 12, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

As Yam Madar’s name continues to do the circuit around the Boston Celtics fansites ahead of the NBA Summer League which gets underway in August, The Sports Rabbi spoke to the Israeli’s first coach Yoram Avisror who helped mold him into the player he is today.

Yam Madar – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Avisror who took Madar under his wing at the early age of 3 years old at Maccabi Biet Dagan in his hometown not far from Tel Aviv has been with the sensation every step of the way. From the youth leagues to Hapoel Tel Aviv, the Under-20 Israel National Team and being selected by the Celtics in the 2020 NBA Draft Avisror offers a unique reflection as to how Madar has climbed the ladder and where he sees the guard in the near future.

“When Yam began with me at the age of 3 I already saw a child already had a certain touch with the ball and a boy who was always in the gym,” Avisror began. “His parents told me to take him to my afterschool program and I immediately saw that he was going to be a player. You never quite know how far a child will be able to get but every year I saw that he was one of the standouts in every group of 20-25 kids that I had. The first practice he was at I saw how he was able to dribble the ball and I understood right away that there was something there. That is something that really stood out.”

Yoram Avisror – Photo Credit: Courtesy

Avisror coached Madar all the way until he was 15 years old when he decided that Yam would move to Hapoel Tel Aviv where he would be able to get even further attention to hone his skills. This would eventually help the budding star become a core player with the Israel Under-20 Team that won the European Championship in Tel Aviv back in the summer of 2019 while being named to the Starting 5 of the competition.

“For someone who has been with Yam step by step this was very exciting to see. I was so proud as I sat at home and said ‘how amazing is this’. I can say now that at one point, I didn’t know that he would even be there. Yam is just a boy who showed up at every practice to work hard and invest his time without trying to cut corners. When he was selected as one of the Starting 5 of the tournament and was part of the team that won it all, I was just so, so proud.”

Madar continued his upward trend when he was chosen as the Most Improved Player of the Israeli League in 2020 and the was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the NBA Draft. With that, there has been a lot of talk about Madar heading to Boston for the upcoming season, however, an arbitrator ruled that he still has one year left on his contract with Hapoel Tel Aviv. While it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few weeks, Avisror confirmed that Madar will be with the Celtics Summer League team and has already travelled to the United States to prepare.

Yoram Avisror with Yam Madar – Photo Credit: Courtesy

Prior to the draft last November, there were people from the NBA that had been in touch with Avisror and the Madar family, “They were in touch with his father Zohar but I was also involved the entire time as I am even today. He has been practicing at my gym twice a week and I am part of what is going on in his life. I am hopeful that he will be on the Boston Gardens floor even this season.”

“Yam is the type of person that when he sets a goal for himself he achieves it. Yam had offers in Israel from top teams who wanted him and there was a debate if he should go for it or not but I am sure that if he starts to train with the Celtics which I believe will be upcoming he will find himself in the NBA already this season. He’s just the type who will be able to adjust himself to the situation as he has done at all of the camps he has attended in America. He would show up as a kid who no one knew who he was and by the end he was selected as the best of the best and that is why I believe that if he is given the chance to be at training camp he will find a way into the squad.”

Madar has a very strong group of people around him including Avisror who have guided him along the way as he continues his journey. “I can tell you that it’s a very good group of people who are warm and professional that has been able to help him along the way. His father is incredible and I have been with him for so many years but he has such an amazing work ethic that when he was working under me and he would have three sessions a day, each one would get better and better as the day went by. This is the result of having his parents and family as a support system as he continues on his way.”

Yam Madar – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

As for Madar’s strengths along with areas that he needs to work on, Avisror sees a number of things that standout, “Yam is so smart on the court and can see certain things that others don’t. This is something that he continuously improves as he sees plays developing. Another area is his character. In basketball you need a very strong character in order to succeed at the highest of levels and that is something that really stands out. One thing that he does need to continue to work on for the NBA is his shooting. When his shot will be at a much higher level then he will also more easily fit into the best league in the world.”

As for comparisons, Avisror likens him to one Kyrie Irving. “He’s very similar to him and knows how to create points in any type of situation. On the topic of shooting, there aren’t a lot of players who have a short jumper that is scored at a very high percentage. I really believe he can be compared to him in terms of his game and in one area I would dare to say that Yam is even better which is making the players around him better. I really think that Yam will be an NBA player in the upcoming seasons and perhaps even a leading player.”

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