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May 13, 2022 2:48 pm
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Orthodox Jewish YU Basketball Player, NBA Prospect Invited to Elite Draft Camp

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Yeshiva University men’s basketball player Ryan Turell. Photo: YouTube screenshot/Overtime.

Ryan Turell, a forward for Yeshiva University men’s basketball team The Maccabees, has been invited to join the NBA G League Elite Camp to be held in Chicago, it was announced on Monday.

The YU senior and Los Angeles native is one of 44 prospects for the 2022 NBA Draft — and the only NCAA Division III player — to receive an invitation to the camp, which will take place from May 15-17. The NBA G League is the National Basketball Association’s official minor league basketball organization.

Turell, 23, will get the chance to showcase his skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and executives while playing in five-on-five games and taking part in strength and agility drills. Select players from the camp will be invited to participate in the Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine 2022, held May 18-22, also in Chicago. The combine is a step forward in the draft process for NBA prospects and leads to the NBA Draft 2022, presented on June 23.

NBA players that have participated in past NBA G League Elite Camps include New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, LA Clippers guard Terance Mann and Miami Heat guard Max Strus, according to the NBA G League.

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Turell hopes to become the first Orthodox Jewish basketball player in the NBA, recently telling the website HoopsHype that doing so “would be a dream come true to me.”

“It’d be what I’ve worked for my entire life to do,” he explained. “And I think it’d be a dream come true for a lot of people that thought that this wasn’t possible, that a Jewish kid can’t make the NBA. It would prove to them that they can go and hopefully prove to them that they can go achieve their dreams, that it doesn’t matter where you come from, that as long as you put the work in you can do anything.”

When asked if he would feel pressure to teach NBA fans about Judaism as a pro athlete, he told the website, “I take it happily but I think the pressure is a good thing. I view pressure as being able to prove things to people, to be able to inspire them, and this is a dream come true for me. I love to be able to inspire that way.”

Turell, who averaged 27.1 points per game in the NCAA III with YU, also spoke about taking online classes so he has more free time to spend on the court.”My whole life is basketball now, where I’m really trying to focus on getting better every day,” he said. “I’m waking up earlier to train and do it more often than I was able to do when I was going to classes and whatnot.

Turell plans to adhere to Shabbat if drafted into the NBA, he told HoopsHype. If a game is scheduled on Friday after sundown or Saturday before sunset, he will plan ahead of time to stay at a hotel close to the gym, walk to the gym, play and not use electronic devices until Shabbat is over. He also admitted in the interview that he has a dream of one day playing basketball in Israel.

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