Hillel provides opportunity to watch NBA’s first Israeli player

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By Ben Cooper
For the Mitzpeh
@bcoopz7

With the National Basketball Association season now well underway, Maryland Hillel students attended the Washington Wizards game versus the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 28.

The trip, organized by Israeli Fellow Shira Gabay and Hillel Programs/Operations Associate Alyssa Silva gave students the chance to see Omri Casspi of the Kings play.

Casspi is the first Jewish player to play in an NBA game, and he also captained the Israeli national basketball team at the 2015 European Championship. Hillel offered discounted tickets between $10 and $15 as well as a complimentary T-shirt that displays the Wizard’s name and logo on it.

Gabay said the trip was not a promotional opportunity offered by the Wizards, but rather was just a good chance to see the only current Israeli basketball player in the NBA for a reasonably low price. Those who attended the game were not able to meet with Casspi.

The Wizards won the game in an overtime battle with a score of 101-95. Casspi played 15 minutes and scored 2 points alongside 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Sophomore kinesiology major Aaron Kraiman was able to attend his first Wizards game, due in part to the feasible ticket prices.

”I got to see the game pretty close up. A couple of friends and I moved down to the lower level seating thanks to the low attendance,” said Kraiman. “Ultimately John Wall was fun to watch as he took over the game to help the Wizards win in overtime.”

However, Kraiman said he was dissatisfied with the Kings because they did not give more playing time to Casspi, who only played 15 of the 53 possible minutes. This season, Casspi has averaged 17 minutes per game.

“I was disappointed in the Kings for not playing [Casspi] enough minutes while barely passing the ball to him,” said Kraiman.

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