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Mar 17, 2021

another Jewish Jordan?

Yahoo News has the story of  Ryan Turell, an Orthodox Jew learning and studying in Yeshiva University. 

Turell also plays on the YU basketball team. And he is a star.

Yahoo see him as possibly the next "Jewish Jordan". he also seems to be on track to be the first Orthodox Jewish player in the NBA down the road. They say he is that good. Check out the article for the details and descriptions.

First of all, I wish Ryan all the best and much success in his drive to the NBA. If he can make it that far, especially as an Orthodox Jew, more power to him.

Unfortunately I don't see it happening. Playing on Shabbos is too big a part in an NBA career. A star not play on Friday night or Saturday games? Unheard of. Amare Stoudamire recently succeeded in getting his team to let him not work on Shabbos, but he is no longer playing - he is some sort of bench coach, not a star player any longer. I just don't see how an NBA team, if he even gets that far, would allow a star player, or any player, to not play on Shabbos.

If he is really good enough to get to the NBA, it seems likely to me that somewhere along the way he will have to make a decision and give something up - either his NBA career or Shabbos observance. I hope he does figure out a way to make it work, but I see it as unlikely to happen.

Second, why does every Jewish kid good at playing basketball have to be dubbed a "Jewish Jordan"? Can't anyone come up with a new nickname? Maybe the Jewish Bryant or the Jewish Lebron? Maybe Rabbi Rebound or maybe something a little more creative. The Jewish Jordan name is so tired already.

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  1. Don't get me wrong, the kid is amazing. But not even close to being good enough to make the NBA.
    And yeah, I agree, Jewish Jordan needs an upgrade

  2. Who was the first "Jewish Jordan?"

    1. the previous big name Jewish Jordan was Tamir Goodman.

  3. from an interview - makes me sad:

    “[Yeshiva] has some guys that are good,” says one rival coach, “but there is a reason they went to Yeshiva. Ryan Turell is not one of those guys. He shouldn’t be at Yeshiva. How do you miss on him?”

    Yeshiva coach Elliot Steinmetz had a simple enough pitch: to create a culture of Jewish athletic excellence. As Simcha Halpert, a senior guard on the 2020 squad that went 29-1, explained, “We set a trend of coming to Yeshiva for basketball and only for basketball.


  4. I'm pretty sure no Division III player will ever wind up in the NBA.

    1. That may depend on how you want to classify exactly what is division 3. Both Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman played for NAIA schools. Division 3 is NCAA.
      Also see https://herosports.com/five-players-from-d3-schools-who-made-it-to-the-nba/

  5. Indeed he will have to decide what suits him. It is not sad. People have the freedom and opportunity to make choices. They are legitimate. A stream of coercive religion with self serving rules and fabricated ideas of punishment and retribution is not legitimate. Shabbat shalom.


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