Les juifs en basketbal

Publié le par Jean-Marie Tartane

Les juifs dans le basketball

Hebrew Hoop Stars
d’après

 

La communauté juive a toujours été très impliquée dans l’activité du basketball ou tout simplement dans le basketball en tant que joueurs.

Caractérisée par son apport au niveau de la création et de la direction de clubs professionnels, on verra que par la suite, de nombreux joueurs de confession judaïque ont eu un rôle plus que symbolique dans le progrès et l’image de ce sport.

 

 

Le fait que le président (commissioner) de la NBA soit juif est symbolique : David Stern a sauvé la NBA de la faillite au cours des années 90’s.

Nous allons essayer d’expliquer ce long processus qui souvent est le fait d’opportunités mais aussi souvent d’un long et consciencieux travail.

L’occasion fait le larron :

Sport créé pour les jeunes gens des villes, la pratique du basketball est née dans les années 1890’s,dans le New-York des quartiers noirs du Bronx et d’Harlem, mais aussi dans les quartiers juifs de l’ East Side puis dans le West Side de Chicago

Débuts à New-York évidemment :

Le premier juif qui devint professionnel est Paul ("Twister") Steinberg né en 1890) et débuta à Little Falls de New-York. Il devint plus tard coach en Ivy league à Cornell entre 1910 et 1912, puis se transforma avec succès en arbitre au collège .

Frank Basloe (1887-1966), joueur professionnel et coach aux Herkimer de New York organisa une équipe qui tourna dans le pays entre 1903 et 1923. Basloe fut president de la Ligue de l’état de New York State entre 193et 1948.

Harry Baum (1882-1959), un salarié de New York City et professeur d’ingénérie électrique au City College of New York, développa un style de jeu étourdissant qui permit d’inspirer des joueurs tels que Barney Sedran, Louis Sugarman (1890-1951), Jake Fuller (Furstman), and Max (Marty) Friedman (1889- ).

Friedman devint capitaine de l’équipe de l’armée expéditionnaire ( American Expeditionary Force) lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

D’autres joueurs professionnels de qualité entre 1910-25, furent William Cone et Emanuel (Doc) Newman (1890- ). Henry Hart Elias (1882-1941) fut le premier joueur juif de collège; il joua tout d’abord dans l’équipe de Columbia University en 1901. Il devint capitaine en 1903, et le premier coach en basketball de cette célèbre université (où David Stern fit ses études) en1904-05. Le premier basketteur juif à gagner les honneurs des collèges fut Samuel Melitzer (1888- ), dans l’ All-East selection team en 1907, et All-American (meilleur joueur du pays) en 1909. Furent également All American de Columbia () , William Laub, 1926; Louis Bender (1910- ), 1930, 1932, et and David Newmark (1946- ), 1966.

De 1909 à 1950 le City College de New York produit des équipes qui furent parmi les meilleurs de la nation américaine. A l’exception de Ira Streusand (1890-1964), pro en 1908, et la star Nat Holman, tous jouèrent au C.C.N.Y. et furent selectionnés comme All American.

Citons aussi Louis Farer, en 1922; Pincus (Pinky) Match (1904-1944), en1925; Moe Spahn, en 1932; Mo Goldman (1913- ), en 1934; Bernard Fliegel, en 1938; William (Red) Holzman (1920- ) futur coach des New York Knicks, en 1942, and Irwin Dambrot (1950).

D’autres joeurs selectionnés comme All-America de New York City (New York University, Long Island University, and St. John's) furent ainsi Maclyn (Mac) Baker (1898- ), 1920-21; Milton Schulman, 1936; Robert Lewis, en 1939; Jerome (Jerry) Fleishman (1922- ), en 1943; Sidney Tanenbaum (1925-1988), 1946-47; Adolph (Dolph) Schayes, en1948; Donald Forman (1926- ), en1948, and Barry Kramer (1942- ), en 1963-64; Ben Kramer (1913- ), en 1936; Jules Bender (1914- ), en 1937; John Bromberg, en 1939; Daniel Kaplowitz, en 1939; Irving Torgoff, en1938-39; Oscar (Ossie) Schectman, (1919- ), en 1941, and Jackie Goldsmith (1921-1968), en 1946; Max (Mac) Kinsbrunner (décédé en1972), en 1930; Max (Mac) Posnack, en 1931; Nathan Lazar, en 1933; Jack (Dutch) Garfinkel (1920- ), en 1939; Harry Boykoff (1922- ), en 1943, 1946; Hyman (Hy) Gotkin, 1944-45,et Allan Seiden, 1958-59.

En 1928-31 Kinsbrunner, Posnack, Albert (Allie) Schuckman and Jack (Rip) Gerson furent membres des "Wonder Five," une des meilleures équipes de collèges.

D’autres joueurs All-America comme Cyril Haas, Princeton, 1916-17; Leon (Bob) Marcus, 1918-19; Samuel Pite, Yale, 1923; Emanuel (Menchy) Goldblatt (1904- ), Pennsylvania, 1925-26; Carl M. Loeb Jr., Princeton, 1926; Edward Wineapple, Providence, 1929; Louis Hayman, Syracuse, 1931; Jerry Nemer (1912- ), Southern California, 1933; Herbert Bonn, Duquesne, 1936; William Fleishman, Western Reserve, 1936; Marvin Colen, Loyola of Chicago, 1937; Meyer (Mike) Bloom, Temple, 1938; Bernard Opper (1918- ), Kentucky, 1939; Louis Possner, DePaul, 1940; Morris (Moe) Becker (1917- ), Duquesne, 1941; Irving Bemoras (1930- ), Illinois, 1953.

Parmi cette liste impressionnante doit se dégager Len Rosenbluth né en 1933 (voir photo), North Carolina en 1955-57, qui fut meilleur joueur de college en 1957.

Lawrence Friend (1935- ), California, 1957; Donald Goldstein, Louisville, 1959; Jeff Cohen, William et Mary, 1960-61; Arthur Heyman (1941- ), Duke, 1961-63, fut joueur de collège de l’année 1963. Howard Carl, DePaul, 1961; Robert I. (Rick) Kaminsky (1942- ), Yale, 1964; Talbot (Tal) Brody né en 1943 diplmomé d’Illinois et élu en 1965, puis star au Maccabi de Tel Aviv avec laquelle il gagnera plusieurs Euroligues, et en équipe d’Israel dans les années 70’s.

Le meilleur de tous fut sans contestation le barbu Neal Walk (2,08m-1948) grand pivot des Gators de Florida (là où joue le fils de Yannik Noah), puis star aux Phoenix Suns en NBA avec qui il sera All Star.

Les juifs qui furent de grands coachs sont nombreux. Citons le premeir au CCNY COLLEGES first C.C.NY. coach, 1909-16; Edard Siskind (1886-1955), Fordham, 1910; Samuel Melitzer, N.Y.U., 1911; Michael Saxe, Villanova, 1921-26; Louis Sugarman, Princeton, 1921; David Tobey (1898- ), Savage School of Physical Education, 1924-42 and Cooper Union, 1947-60, an outstanding referee from 1918 to 1945 and the author of the first book on basketball officiating (1943), is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame; Leonard D. Sachs (1897-1942), Loyola or Chicago, 1924-42, had a 224-129 record; Emil S. Gollubier (1890-1969), Chicago Hebrew Institute, 1918-62; Albert M. (Dolly) Stark (1897-1968), Dartmouth, 1929-36, 1945-46; Bernard (Red) Sarachek, Yeshiva, 1943, 1946-69; Harry Stein (1916-1959) , Brandeis, 1949-58; Samuel Cozen, Drexel Tech, 1952-68, had a 213-94 record; David Polansky, C.C.N.Y., 1953-54, 1957-58, 1960-68, 1970-7 1; Roy Rubin, Long Island University, 1961-, in 1968 L.I.U. was the small college national champion; Harold (Hal) Blitman, Cheyney State, 1962-69; Jules Rivlin, Marshall, 1956-62; Irving Olin (1917-1970), Brandeis, 1964, and Harry Litwack, Temple, has been at the Philadelphia school since 1925 as a player and coach. He became head coach in 1953 and his teams have won over 300 games including the 1969 National Invitational Tournament in New York City.

The majority of the players who made All-America in college went on to play professional basketball. Other Jewish players who excelled as professionals during the 1925-70 period were David (Pretzel) Banks (1901-1952), the Original Celtics; George (Red) Wolfe (1905-1970), Shikey Gotthoffer and Inky Lautman of the Philadelphia Sphas; Louis Spindell and Phil Rabin (Rabinowitz) of the American League; National Basketball Association players Leo Gottlieb, Sidney (Sonny) Hertzberg, Max Zaslofsky (1925-1985), all-N.B.A. guard in 1947-50, who led the league in scoring in 1948.

Coaches, managers, and owners of professional teams included Jack (Nibs) Neiman, manager of the Rochester, New York, Centrals, 1902; Edward (Eddie) Gottlieb (1900-1979), organized, played for, and coached the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (Sphas) team in 1918-45. In 1946 he helped found the Basketball Association of America (which became the National Basketball Association) and from 1947 to 1968 was a coach and owner of the Philadelphia Warriors; Abe Saperstein, founder, owner, and coach of the Harlem Globetrotters; Barney Sedran, a coach and promoter in 1932-46; Lester Harrison, coach and owner of the Rochester Royals of the N.B.A. in 1949-58; Benjamin (Ben) Kerner (1917- ), owned teams in the National Basketball League and the National Basketball Association in 1946-68; Arnold (Red) Auerbach, Boston Celtics coach and general manager; Max Winter, owner of the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950s; Adolph (Dolph) Schayes, N.B.A. coach of the year in 1966 with the Philadelphia 76ers; and William (Red) Holzman, played for Rochester Royals in 1946-54, and in 1970 was coach of the year when his N.Y. Knickerbockers won the N.B.A. championship. Maurice Podoloff (1890-1985) was elected president of the Basketball Association o f America in 1946 and served as the first commissioner of the National Basketball Association until 1963. Leo Fischer (1897-1970), an outstanding sportswriter, was president of the National Basketball League in 1940-44, and Harry Rudolph (1907-1973), president of the Eastern League.

Referees who gained prominence were Sam Schoenfeld (1907-1956), who starred at Columbia University in 1928-30 and later founded and was first president of the Collegiate Basketball Officials Association; Mendy Rudolph (1928- ), who became an N.B.A. official in 1953 and in 1969 became the league's chief of referees; and Norman Drucker, who after 15 years with the N.B.A. became supervisor of A.B.A. officials in 1969. Jews coached and won medals at the Olympic Games. Julius Goldman, an American, coached Canada to an Olympic medal in 1936, and Alexander Gomelsky did the same for the Soviet Union in 1964 and 1968. Canadian Olympic coaches include Men Abromowitz (1948) and Ruben Richman (1934- ). Harry D. Henshel served as chairman of the United States Olympic Basketball Committee in 1956, and Harold Fischer coached United States gold medal teams at the 1951 and 1967 Pan-American Games. Tanhum (Tanny) Cohen-Mintz of Israel was named to the European All-Star team in 1964 and 1965. Members of the Basketball Hall of Fame are Leonard D. Sachs, David Tobey, Barney Sedran, Nat Holman, Arnold (Red) Auerbach, and Abe Saperstein.

Ernest Grunfeld won gold medals as a member of the American men's teams at the 1975 Pan-American Games and the 1976 Olympic Games, and Nancy Lieberman was a member of the American women's teams which gained Pan-American Games gold and Olympic Games silver medals. Miss Lieberman was named the outstanding college player twice, winning the Wade Trophy following the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons, when her school Old Dominion won the women's championship. In 1979 she helped the United States win the FIBA World Championship and a silver medal in the Pan-American Games.

New York Knickerbocker coach William (Red) Holzman led his team to the championship of the National Basketball Association in 1973. Larry Brown was named Coach of the Year in the American Basketball Association in 1973 and 1975. In 1979 Brown moved to the college ranks to coach at U.C.L.A. His team reached the finals of the national collegiate (NCAA) championship in his first season. Coach Larry Brown, basketball's traveling man, left the NBA New Jersey Nets in 1983 to go to the University of Kansas. In 1988 he went from Kansas to the NBA Antonio Spurs, and in 1992 he moved from San Antonio to the NBA Los Angeles Clippers. Brown's Kansas club won the college (NCAA) championship in 1988, and San Antonio went from a 21-61 record in Brown's first year to 56-26 the following year. The 35-game swing was a one-season NBA record.

Alexandre Gomelsky returned to coach the U.S.S.R. national team in 1977. His team won an Olympic bronze medal in Moscow.

Players Adolph (Dolph) Schayes (1972) and Max (Marty) Friedman (1971); coach Harry Litwack (1976) and contributors Edward Gottlieb (1971) and Maurice Podoloff (1973) were elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Death claimed Eddie Gottlieb in 1979, and 1933 University of Southern California All-America Jerry Nemer, and referee Marvin (Menchy) Rudolph in 1980.

David Stern became the commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1983 and in 1992 was named the most powerful person in sports by a national sports publication. The Sporting News said of him, "As a direct result of David Stern's progressive leadership, the NBA now has the greatest universal appeal of any professional sport."

Israeli Nadav Henefeld enjoyed an outstanding 1989-90 season at the University of Connecticut. Connecticut won the Big East title and reached the NCAA championship final eight. For his efforts Henefeld was named honorable mention All-America.

Senda Berenson, the "Mother of Women's Basketball" and its first female entrant, and William (Red) Holzman, who coached in the NBA for 18 years, were inducted into the International Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 and 1986. Holzman's New York Knicks teams won the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.



The Encyclopedia Judaica CD-ROM contains all the text of the original 16 Keter volumes, the eight yearbooks and the two Ten-Year update volumes. In addition it includes many statistical updates and an interactive time-line. The CD has over 2500 pictures, 100 maps, slideshows, audio, and fifteen minutes of video.

Reflections

 

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