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An excellent basketball player and a particularly loved person: a painful farewell to Willie Sims Israel today


Israeli basketball has lost one of its prominent past players • won 5 championships and 3 cups in Israel with Maccabi • will be remembered for his gentlemanly, kind demeanor and thanks to his big smile

Willie Sims passed away today at the age of just 64 after failing to recover from a previous heart attack. 

Israeli basketball has lost one of its most prominent past players.

Sims, who immigrated to Israel following basketball and settled here, was not only a great player, but an intelligent and kind personality, and also a role model for dealing with physical fitness.

He participated in the USA uniform in the 1977 and 1981 Maccabiah tournaments, then immigrated to Israel and has lived here ever since.

He married Ariela and his first stop in Israel was Maccabi Haifa, together with another basketball player who followed a similar path - David Blatt.

Willie Sims in Maccabi Tel Aviv uniform, photo: Moshe Shay

Sims had three main stations as a player.

In the Hapoel Tel Aviv uniform he won the State Cup, later he played for Elizur Netanya which in the mid-80s stunned Israeli basketball with an athletic and attractive team that was not far from winning the championship, and in 1987 he came to Maccabi Tel Aviv and was a key player there.

With the Yellows he reached the European Final Four three times, and played in the final twice.

He won 5 championships and 3 cups in Israel with Maccabi.

He later moved to Hapoel Eilat for four seasons, and finally finished his career at Maccabi Hadera in 1999.


Won five championships with Maccabi, photo: Dodi Vaaknin

Sims was a versatile guard who could both score and manage the game, and had a fine defensive game.

He scored in his career: 3,761 points in 15 seasons in which he played in over 300 games.

The amount of his points puts him in the list of the top 50 scorers of all time in Israeli basketball.

Beyond basketball, Sims was known for his gentlemanly, kind demeanor and thanks to his big smile.

He was very loved by the audience in Israel.

When he finished his playing career, he really didn't break away from the sport.

He obtained a certificate of basketball coach, but in the end did not deal with it.

Sims became a first class fitness trainer and invested heavily in personal training.

His motto was maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Beito Daniel is married to the Israel national team coordinator Gal Mekel and they have two children.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-12-23

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