Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Aaron Liberman Wears Yarmulke, Makes Big Ten History

The Jewish forward, a freshman for Northwestern University, became the first player to wear a yarmulke during a Big Ten conference game

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 7th, 2014 in Sports » Local

Normally, playing a single minute of basketball, and not putting up any points, rebounds, blocks, steals, or even a single statistic, doesn’t really make the headlines.

But in the case of Jewish forward Aaron Liberman, we’ll gladly make an exception.

The 6-foot-ten, 215-pound Liberman, a freshman for Northwestern University after walking on from Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, made Big Ten Conference history on Sunday during the team’s 74-51 loss at Michigan for being the first player in its fruitful existence to wear a yarmulke during a conference game.

Reports indicate that Liberman is the only Orthodox Jewish player to currently play Division I major college basketball; however, in 2000 and 2001, a Jewish guard for Towson, Tamir Goodman a.k.a the Jewish Jordon, also wore his yarmulke.

Goodman never made it to a Big Ten Conference match.

Liberman is an observant Orthodox Jew; as such, he’s reportedly walked miles and miles to practices taking place during the Sabbath.

During an event last month at his newly found academic institution, Northwestern University, Liberman was asked what it’s like to be the only Orthodox Jew playing major league college basketball.

The school also handed out close to 200 yarmulkes with an N printed on them (for Northwestern) to those in attendance.

Before arriving at the school, Liberman had spent a year studying in Israel. Subsequent to that, he led Valley Torah High School to a 25-5 record and a CIF Southern Section championship.

It was the first time a Jewish school had won a section title in basketball in California.

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