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SoCalHoops Tournament News

U.S. Maccabi Teams Still
Headed For Israel--(July 3, 2001)

There has been much talk and speculation lately about whether the U.S. would be sending teams to Israel for the 16th Maccabiah games, an event which occurs every three years and which is designed to bring together Jewish athletes from all over the world.  Due to the increasing violence and tensions in the region, several countries have pulled out, while others have scaled back.  After much debate, given the current state of affairs in the region, the U.S. delegation will consist of some 350-400 athletes, including some very well known U.S. players like USC's David Bluthenthal and Doug Gottlieb who will play for the Men's Open Division team.  Gottlieb, who led the NCAA in assists two years ago for Eddie Sutton's Oklahoma State team and who played professionally in Europe last season, has also been invited to play for the Laker's summer team in the Summer Pro League at Long Beach State--formerly the "Fila Summer Pro League"--(by the way, you can get all the Pro Summer League info you want by clicking on the above link).  Doug tentatively will practice with the USA Macabbi team in Philadelphia July 1-4, then fly to Los Angeles to be with the Lakers July 5-14, and then fly to Israel to play in the Macabbiah Games.

In addition to the men's "open" division team, the U.S. delegation will also send a U.S. Maccabi Youth team, of  16-U players.   That team was originally supposed to feature three players from Southern California, but only two will now make the trip:  Both Avi Fogel from Torrey Pines HS in San Diego and Shawn Weinstein from Rolling Hills Peninsula HS, two excellent guards, have elected to continue to participate and the will be making the trip to Israel.   They are now also both back at the practice camp in Philly, and will leave for Israel directly from there.   We got a very nice note from Avi's dad, and he told us that while Avi will be missing some of the camps that he has been invited to attend, he felt that this was an opportunity for him to show his solidarity with Israel, and basketball simply became the tool for him to do that. Both Avi and Shawn will be back in the U.S. in time for the Big Time and the Pump's "Best of Summer Tournament" at Loyola Marymount.

Amazingly, thanks to the wonders of wireless technology, if you want to follow the progress of any of the athletes at the games, it's now possible to receive free updates from the Games on your cell phone.  We don't know how well the service will work, but if you're interested, here's the link.  Good luck to all of the U.S. athletes.  Stay safe, and win.

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