Shalom Life | February 19, 2014

Israeli NBA Players Meet for the First Time on Court

The Dallas Mavericks played against the Houston Rockets in a recent preseason game, making it the first time two Israeli NBA players have been on a court together

By: Zak Edwards

Published: October 30th, 2013 in Sports » Local

Four years ago, Omri Casspi became the first Israeli-born player to enter the NBA. Yesterday, the second ever Israeli NBA player, Gal Mekel, took the court for the opposing team.

Their meeting marks the first time two Israelis have squared off against each other in NBA history. At 6’9”, Casspi is an ironically named small forward for the Houston Rockets and is unlikely to see much face-to-face time of Mekel on the court, who is 6’3”.

Still, they are both excited to have some national pride in the realm of professional sports. In an interview with JTA, Mekel talked about the Israeli pride that came with Casspi’s arrival in 2009.

“I saw the excitement when Omri came into the league, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that, so hopefully we’ll bring pride,” he said. According to their teammates and coaches, both have been noted for their “competitiveness, commitment to improve, determination on defense and team-first mentality,” all of traits that make us proud.

The two will square off against each other for actual standings on Friday, when the Mavericks return to Houston, which will mark the first season that has two Israelis playing NBA ball. “It’s a big thing, I think, for such a small country to have two [NBA] players. It’s something unique,” Mekel added.

Very well put.

Jewish Hall of Fame: Lip Pike Trending Top 20 Under 40 - Mark Masters Trending Jewish Top 10s: Olympic Moments Trending
 

Adam Lambert Featured in ‘Shades of Elvis’ [VIDEO]

February 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen

The 'American Idol' star channels Elvis Presley for new photography book

Read More

Drake’s OVO Fest Sees a Reunited Outkast Headlining

February 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen

The annual Toronto festival will be held on August 3rd and 4th.

Read More

Shalom, Belgium: A Jewish Culture Guide

February 18, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
Shalom, Belgium: A Jewish Culture Guide

Although it has faced difficult periods, the Belgian Jewish community is now large, proud, and thriving. With such a rich history, Belgium is definitely worth the visit.

Read More

George Clooney Compared to Hitler by London Mayor

February 18, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain

Boris Johnson accused the 'Monuments Men' actor of having a 'Hitlerian agenda'.

Read More

The Revolutionary Device That Treats Addiction and Depression [VIDEO]

February 18, 2014 | By Avi Kanner

Brainsway is a ground-breaking new technology for neurological disorders, depression and addictions

Read More

Ambassador Prosor: First Israeli to Chair Elections to UN Human Rights Committee

February 18, 2014 | By Ynet News

The Israeli ambassador to the UN was unanimously nominated, says 'central role Israel plays to advance human rights is the real answer to anyone calling for boycotts against us'

Read More

Top 20 Under 40: Jordan Nahmias

February 18, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Top 20 Under 40: Jordan Nahmias

Nahmias is a respected entertainment lawyer and founder of the Open Roof Festival, focusing on both music and film

Read More

2,300-Year-Old Village Discovered Near Jerusalem

February 18, 2014 | By Graham Sigurdson
2,300-Year-Old Village Discovered Near Jerusalem

The town from the period of the Second Temple was found by archaeologists, and has since been excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority

Read More

More Headlines