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SoCalHoops Tournament News

LA, OC, & LB  Teams At Maccabi
Games This Week--(August 11, 2000)

jcclogo1.gif (3759 bytes) What: 2000 JCC Maccabi Games
Where Richmond, VA; Cincinnati, OH;
Tucson, AZ; Staten Island, NY;
Boca Raton, FL
Who 5,000 Athletes from all over the US and the world
When August 11-18, 2000

Those who have followed SoCalHoops for the last few years know that after the NCAA official exposure period ends, most basketball for just about everyone winds down for the month of August, only to gear back up again in September with the fall open "contact" period, more club events, high school fall leagues, frosh-soph competition in the LA City Section, and in general, things back in full swing in anticipation of the upcoming high school season which starts in November for just about everyone. . . at least "officially."

So for just about everyone, August has been a month to wind down and take some time off.  But there are a few events which take place during August, chiefly because there is no other time of the year that they can take place precisely because of all the other events going on during June and July which have some of the top athletes either involved with club teams or with their high schools.  One such event is the Maccabi Games, a sort of Olympic Games for Jewish athletes, which draws thousands of competitors from all over the country for a one week athletics competition in many sports, not just basketball.  The Games have featured some of the top world-record holders in swimming (among them current World-record holder Lenny Krayzelberg, who swam for USC and who is on the US Olympic team), track, golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, softball, hockey, and, most obvious to us, basketball. 

Los Angeles and Orange County have a sort of intertwined history in the last few years.  LA sent a team to Seattle in 1997, winning a Gold Medal, and another group to Pittsburgh, winning a Silver Medal there.  The next year, 1998 in Detroit, the LA Gold and Silver Medal teams combined their best players, and joined up with three of Orange County's top players, including Harrison Schaen (6'-8" So. PF) from Mater Dei, and the combined group won their second Gold Medal.  The following year, 1999, at the Cherry Hill Games, the two teams returned to their geographic regions, and after an improbable series of games in pool play, Los Angeles, with players from the Seattle Gold and Detroit Gold teams (David Gale, Will Sheslow, Craig Weinstein, David Fisher, Matt Bendik) faced their former Orange County teammates in the Gold Medal game.  LA won that game, and thus the same core group of returning players will now defend their three Gold Medals, and try to win an unprecedented fourth at the games in Richmond, Virginia which will start on Monday.   And there won't be any rematch this year, because rather than join the LA team in Richmond, OC (and a separate team from Long Beach) will be in Cincinnati instead this coming week)

The Los Angeles and Orange County Maccabi basketball teams all used today (Friday) as a travel day.  Athletes from all over the country are housed with host families, and the games are much more than just a basketball tournament. . . they are a chance for kids from all over to have fun, socialize and do so within a competitive environment. In fact, while the LA team will find it self facing 9 games in the next three days, the event is vastly different from any other basketball tournament you've likely attended.  This is really a cultural and social event.   If you want to read more about the Maccabi games, their history and the other teams who will be participating at the other host sites (the games have just grown too big for one city to host all the visiting athletes who will compete at the five different venues this year), you should check the official JCC Maccabi Games website at this link.   They'll be updating the scores and schedules online, so we'll only do the schedules once here, and then just update the scores along with some reports on the players and the games.

The LA team will compete against teams from New Jersey, Richmond, Atlantic City, Florida, Hartford, Rockland, Israel and Great Britain.  The LA team will feature David Gale (6'-0" Jr. PG) from Sherman Oaks Buckley (currently ranked among the top 5 point guards in Southern California by Fullcourt Press, and Will Sheslow (6'-1" Jr. SG) from West Hills Chaminade, a very talented guard who played with Rockfish this past summer and who recently transferred from Montclair Prep, and returning players like two-time gold medalist Craig Weinstein (5'-11" Jr. G) from Harvard-Westlake, Charlie Kranzdorf (6'-1" Jr. G/F) from Montclair Prep, and Robbie Wizenberg (6'-1" Jr. SG/SF) from Harvard-Westlake who returns for his second season after his first gold medal last year in New Jersey.   New members to the LA team include Abey Malkin (6'-0" Jr. G) an All-CIF guard who recently transferred out of Valley Torah to YULA, Daniel Medioni (5'-10" Jr. G) from LA Shalhavet,  Todd Wolfson (6'-5" Jr. F) of LA El Camino, a thin but developing wing/small forward type, and Dan Goldstein (5'-10" Sr. G) from Beverly Hills.  David Schwartz (6'-0" So. G) is the only player moving up from last year's younger team which competed for LA at the Rochester, NY games.   The team is not large this year and really has no size to speak of, but like last year, other than David Fisher of LA Hamilton,  LA  relied principally on speed and great shooting to counter teams with frontlines of 6'-8, 6'-8" and 6'-7"  This year could present some more daunting tasks and there are some very good teams competing in the bracket.

Orange County's team, competing in Cincinnati, is anchored by Harrison Schaen (6'-8" So. PF) from Mater Dei,  and returnees Matt Susson (5'-11" Jr. G) and Johnny Munz (5'-8" Jr. G), as well as newcomers Tony Mellum (6'-5" Jr. F) from Newport Harbor and Avi Fogel (6'-0" Jr. G) from San Diego.   The Orange County team will also be joined in Cincinnati by a team from Long Beach, featuring several players from Los Alamitos and from around Long Beach and Los Angeles.   The Long Beach and OC teams will compete against teams from Toronto, Miami, Detroit, Cincinnati, Suffolk (New Jersey/New York), Westchester, Rochester, Upper West Side (NY), Washington (WA), Miami, Fla, Northern Virginia, South Jersey (An interesting sidebar:  This will likely be Sandy Poynin's team.  . . he coached the New Jersey Roadrunners at the Big Time, featuring, among others, Tony Agcpan, the 6'-9" kid who came out to Inglewood during the latter half of the season--after DeAngelo Collins was removed from the team and began his sentence-- and it was Agcpan (variously spelled Akgpan) who also was responsible for Redondo Union being declared the league champs when Inglewood was declared to have forfeited the games in which Agkpan played.)

In addition to these teams at the two locations we'll be covering, teams from Albuquerque, NM; Ann Arbor, MI; Atlanta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Charlotte, NC; Chicago , Ill; Columbia, MO; Harrisburg, PA Houston, TX; Jacksonville, Fla; Kansas City,  Memphis, TN, New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; Sarasota, FLA, St. Paul, MN; Syracuse, NY; Tampa, FLA, and many others, will be participating at the other locations. 

We'll be getting updates from Cincinnati early next week, and we will be in Richmond, where the LA team will play its games at the facilities at the University of Richmond. The tournament will be divided into two pools:

LA Maccabi Pools

Pool A Pool B
1. Sid Jacobson (NY)
2. NJY Camps
3. Great Britain
4.  Richmond (Va)
5. Atlantic City (NJ)
6. Metro West (NJ)
7. Los Angeles (CA)
1. Rockland (Ill)
2. North Jersey (NJ)
3. Richmond Beltway (DC/Va)
4. Israel
5. Shorefront (?)
6. South Broward (Fla)
7. Hartford (CT)

Here's the schedule of games for the Richmond Games

Day Time Aux Gym 1 Aux Gym 2 Milthiser Gym
Monday 8:30 a.m. Sid Jacobson v. NJY Camps Israel v. Rich/Belt Great Britain v. Richmond
9:45 a.m. Rockland v. North Jersey Atlantic City v. MetroWest Hartford v. South Broward
11:00 a.m. Sid Jacobson v. LA Israel v. Shorefront NJUY Camps v. Great Britain
12:15 p.m. Rich/Belt v. Rockland Richmond v. Atlantic City North Jersey v. Hartford
1:30 p.m. MetroWest v. LA S. Broward v. Shorefront
2:45 p.m. Israel v. Rockland NJY Camps v. Richmond Sid Jacobson v. Great Britain
Tuesday 8:30 a.m. Atlantic City v. LA Hartford v. Shorefront Sid Jacobson v. Metro West
9:45 a.m. Israel v. South Broward Rich/Belt v. North Jersey
11:00 a.m. Great Britain v. Atlantic City Rockland v. Hartford Richmond v. MetroWest
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. NJY Camps v. LA Rich/Belt v. Shorefront N. Jersey v. S. Broward
9:45 a.m. Sid Jacobson v. Atlantic City Israel v. Hartford
11:00 a.m. Great Britain v. LA Rich/Belt v. S. Broward NJY Camps v. Metro West
12:15 p.m. Rockland v. Shorefront Sid Jacocbson v. Richmond Israel v North Jersey
1:30 p.m. NJY Camps v. Atlantic City Rich/Best v. Hartford Great Britain v. MetroWest
2:45 p.m. Rockland v. S. Broward Richmond v. LA North Jersey v. Shorefront
Thursday 8:30 a.m. Game #1:  1A v. 4B Game #2:  2B v. 3A
9:45 a.m. Game #3 : 1A v. 4A Game #4: 2A v. 3B
11:00 a.m. Game #5:  Winner # 1 v. Winner # 2
12:15 p.m. Game #6: Winner #3 v. Winner #4
2:45 p.m. Bronze Medal Game
Loser #5 v. Loser #6
@ St. Christopher's School
4:00 p.m. Gold Medal Championship Game
Winner #5 v. Winner #6
@ Collegiate School

You may notice that the Tuesday schedule is "short".  There's a reason for that, and it involves a concept known as getting the athletes involved in the host community to perform socially significant work.   Last year, the LA boys' basketball team and one of the other visiting delegations' girls basketball team built various portions of a "Habitat for Humanity" house in downtown Camden, New Jersey, an extremely poverty-stricken area.  Others prepare meals for the homeless, worked in soup kitchens or performed work for elderly or disabled community members.  This Tuesday afternoon, the players will all participate in a similar "day of caring".

The Richmond games will be played at Richmond's Robins Center.  Built in 1972 through a grant fromthe E. Claiborne Robins family, the Robins Center is one of the nicest facilities of its kind.  For more than 20 years the sports complex has housed the University's 19 athletic squads and has served as a showplace for University of Richmond basketball. The arena holds 9,171 red and blue theater seats, which rise in staggered fashion from the floor.  The lower level of the building, which is where the competition for pool play will take place, is the center of the University's physical education program and Campus Recreation activities. On this level you can find a 10,000 square-foot auxiliary gymnasium, which contains two basketball courts, the U.S. course six-lane swimming pool with one and three-meter boards, seven racquetball/handball courts, two squash courts and a full recreational fitness center. The Robins Center serves as home to men's and women's basketball.

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