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January 3, 2012 3:05 pm

‘Jewish Jordan’ Still Got Game (VIDEO)

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Tamir Goodman has been at the upper echelon of basketball since a young age.  Formerly one of the top high school players in America, Goodman played 6 professional seasons in Israel, while also finding the time to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Now, Tamir is bringing his love of basketball and Judaism to young players and coaches across the United States. Most recently, Goodman hosted the Coolanu Israel Basketball camp in Chicago.

Coolanu – meaning “everyone”.

“We try to bring everyone together through basketball. Kids, coaches and athletes understand basketball so well. Through these basketball messages, we can bring out Jewish values. When you dribble you have to be low to the ground but keep your head up. In life you need to do well but keep your head up and be humble to make the right play. You have to make sure you’re helping out everyone around you as well”, Tamir told The Algemeiner.

Over 130 kids came out to the Chicago camp.  Tamir spoke about teaching young people a sense of self and how to always be confident, even in the face of adversity.

“Even the best players in the world, when they’re struggling, they’ll drive to the lane and get to the free throw line. Once they hit a few free throws, they have the confidence on the rest of the court. If you have that strong base, that identity of knowing who you are, that confidence in yourself, you’ll be able to overcome things much easier in life, even when you’re struggling”.

Goodman, who played for Maccabi Tel Aviv – one of Europe’s premier teams – also shed light on the popularity of professional basketball in Israel among American collegiate and NBA players.

“I think Israel, outside the NBA, is by far the best place to play in the world. The reputation is really
growing and will only increase. American players, socially, feel very comfortable there with the food,
and they speak English”.

During the camp in Chicago recently, Tamir explained to the young attendees how Israel extended a hand to NBA players in need of a place to play during the lockout this past year. “NBA players didn’t have anywhere to play, so Israel gave them a place to play and unlike many other countries around the world, Israel allowed them to go back when the time was right”, he said.

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