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Five steps forward: the Israelis are at the center of the return of the basketball league Israel today


Tomer Ginat went with his heart and created a precedent • Roman Sorkin knows how to take opportunities with both hands • Shawn Dawson is mentally ready for the challenge • Oz Blazer can inaugurate the next generation • And Nimrod Levy does not give in to dictates • Ranking the five best Israelis in the Premier League

The history of the stars of the Israeli league is mainly interwoven with wonderful coordinators (Moti Arosti, Avigdor Moskovic, Barry Leibovich, Doron Shafer, Oded Ketch, Adi Gordon, Meir Tapiro) and great scorers (Miki Berkovic, Doron Jamchi, Ofer Ashad, Or Goren, Steve Kaplan, Doron Shefa, Erez Hazan).

Here and there there were threatening centers (Tanhum Cohen Mintz, Gabi Teichner, Yaniv Green, Tomer Steinhauer), and some corner players, today's forwards (Chaim Buchbinder, Boaz Yanai, Moti Daniel, Lior Eliyahu).

But in the last decade our league has been flooded with foreign guards, and thus the Israelis who stand out in it are mainly those forwards who were once rare.

The squad is an accurate mirror.

All its center backs play in Europe, pure scorers are already an extinct breed, and in the corner for your judgment in the reserve stands Gilad Levy, on his 220 centimeters.

Together with the three outstanding coordinators of the young teams (Noam Dovrat, Noam Yaakov and Ben Sharaf) they will try to challenge the league and the trend in the coming years.

But in the current season, the Israeli face of the league will be the leading forwards of the top teams.

1. Tomer Ginat / Hapoel Tel Aviv

Ginat's return to the league after two years in France, and his emotional choice of red and not yellow, shook the known foundations of the league, according to which Maccabi Tel's money and prestige decide the choice of senior players.

And here Ginat settled for a lower contract (albeit a very respectable one), preferred the Eurocup over the Euroleague, but in fact, chose love above all else, and created an important precedent that will set an example for those who come after him - a player who chooses to be central and significant in a place he loves, rather than a secondary cog in a larger enterprise .

What is beautiful is that this is a choice that cannot be tested in the result test.

She comes from a place where the scoreboard is not number one.     

Tomer Ginat, photo: Oded Karni

2. Roman Sorkin / Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sorkin actually chose yellow, but he did it after he had matured enough and rubbed shoulders as a central player in a small team (Maccabi Haifa).

He arrived at the right age, and to his joy he found the right coach who trusted him and gave him playing minutes.

Although he grew up as a forward, luck also played a role for him.

Injuries to the tall foreigners allowed him to stand out and also get a place in the rotation in the Euroleague as the center, which he took with both hands.

Sorkin is an exceptional athlete, tall and flying above the ring, an excellent blocker, but struggles with basic defense and defensive rebounding.

To continue receiving credit from Ketch, he will have to mainly revamp his pick and roll game, and dare to throw (and also score) free threes.

Roman Sorkin, photography: Alan Shiver

3. Shawn Dawson / Hapoel Holon

This season will test Shawn Dawson in the elements in which he has not stood out so far: leadership, team bonding, and three-point shooting.

He replaces two scorers and leaders for the national champion (Guy Panini and Rafi Manko), and after the excellent season in Bnei Herzliya with a cup and a playoff final, he will be required to exert twice as much effort and urgency, when he plays twice a week.

Dawson will strive to continue and even upgrade Holon's promotion line in Europe, and also to maintain the championship, tough and challenging tasks.

After overcoming two career-ending injuries and making a full recovery, he is mentally and physically ready for the challenge.

Shawn Dawson, photo: Audi Citiat

4. Oz Blazer / Hapoel Jerusalem

The moment I remember the most from Blazer last season at Maccabi Tel Aviv was after he managed to squeeze out an attacking foul from Jacob Brown in one of the derby games. Blazer threw his arms in a prone position, then rose to his feet in Bruce Lee's dragon jump, which expressed a combination of tremendous athleticism and even greater frustration .

If in the first year he was integrated nicely in the league games and in the Euroleague, in the last season he heated up the bench too much, so it was not surprising that he chose to go to be the leading Israeli in Jerusalem.

Under a smart European coach (Aleksandar Džikić) and also a European forward line, he will be able to show the wisdom of his game and other elements that almost disappeared from Arsenal.

And maybe he will also be able to serve as an Israeli mentor to Noam Dovarat and Gilad Levi.   

Oz Blazer, photo: Oded Karni

5. Nimrod Levy / Hapoel Galil Alyon

The decision to give up a contract with Hapoel Holon and continue in the Upper Galilee quite characterizes this talented and versatile player.

Original decision-making that does not necessarily submit to familiar dictates, and as in the case of Ginat, prevents a lot of emotion and private priorities.

Nimrod Levy, photo: Maor Alxalsi

Even on the court, Levy plays instinctively, and uses his height, athleticism and shooting talent to score a lot of points in a short time.

The decision to stay in the Galilee requires him to shine this season, improve mainly the defense and rebounding, and take his team one step further, that is, to the semi-finals of the playoffs.  

On the bench:

Guy Panini, Rafi Manko, Amit Simhon, Bar Timur, Yotam Hanouchi.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-10-04

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