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July 12, 2013 11:07 am

Maccabi Haifa Owner After Star’s Signing: Playing for Team ‘Provides a Stepping Stone to the NBA’ (VIDEO)

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Gal Mekel being introduced by Dallas Mavericks officials. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli basketball star Gal Mekel’s recent signing with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks proves that his former team, Maccabi Haifa, provides a legitimate entree into the NBA, says team owner Jeff Rosen.

“This achievement proves that playing for Maccabi Haifa provides a stepping stone to the NBA for both Israeli and American players,” Rosen said in an email to The Algemeiner

Mekel, the reigning Israeli League M.V.P., officially signed with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks Thursday. The point guard helped lead Maccabi Haifa to the team’s first Israeli Super League championship in franchise history, averaging 13.3 points and 5.4 assists per game for the season.

Unlike powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa has experienced little success in its long history, until recently. Though founded in 1953, this past season was the first time it won the championship in Israel’s top basketball league.

Watch a video of Mekel during his Mavericks introduction press conference below:

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