Friday, July 30th 2021   |

Sports

Omri Casspi, first Israeli player in NBA, retires from professional basketball

(JTA) — Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to make it to the NBA, has retired from playing basketball professionally.

Casspi, 33, began his career with Maccabi Tel Aviv, an Israeli team, and made history in 2009 when he was selected in the NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. A forward, he played in the NBA for a decade, with stints in Cleveland,  Houston, Memphis, Minnesota and the (San Francisco) Golden...

Elie Kligman becomes second Orthodox baseball player drafted into the MLB in 2 days

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — It has now become a doubly historic Major League Baseball draft.

The Washington Nationals selected Elie Kligman with their final and 20th round pick on Tuesday, making him the second observant Orthodox Jewish player ever drafted into the league — and the second in two days. The Arizona Diamondbacks picked 17-year-old Long Island, New York native Jacob Steinmetz 77th overall on Monday.

According to MLB.com,...

Baseball phenom Jacob Steinmetz becomes first known Orthodox player drafted into the MLB

(JTA) — The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Long Island, New York native Jacob Steinmetz 77th overall in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday. He’s the first known observant Orthodox player to be picked in the league’s draft.

MLB.com ranked the 17-year-old as the 121st best major league prospect, so he was chosen far earlier than expected.

Steinmetz, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound pitcher, spent the past year at...

Adam Fox named hockey’s top defenseman, first Jewish player to win a major NHL award

By MARC BRODSKY

(JTA) — It’s been seven decades since the New York Rangers had a star Jewish defenseman. This season they had the best defenseman in the National Hockey League, Jewish or otherwise.

Adam Fox, a native of New York’s suburban Long Island and a longtime Rangers fan, was named the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy on Tuesday signifying the top defenseman.

The 23-year-old, a former star...

NFL’s San Francisco 49ers pick a Jew of color to lead their diversity efforts

By GABE STUTMAN

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Though she calls herself an “art kid” at her core, Christina Jefferson is no stranger to contact sports.

Recently hired by the San Francisco 49ers to lead the NFL team’s diversity and inclusion efforts — a newly created position — Jefferson has a long history with a quite different, yet still bruising, athletic pursuit: roller derby.

In...

David Cohen is a longshot to become the 1st Jewish jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. But he’s beaten long odds before.

By ROB CHARRY

(JTA) – The odds are long that David Cohen can become the first Jewish jockey to win a Kentucky Derby.

Cohen’s horse, Keepmeinmind, is a 50-1 shot in the early line for Saturday’s Triple Crown race at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

But don’t bet against the 36-year-old rider, who has won some 1,560 races and earned nearly $60 million in a career that launched in 2004: His...

Iran’s judo team suspended from international matches until 2023 for refusing to face Israeli opponents

(JTA) — The Iranian national judo team was suspended from international competition until September 2023 for forfeiting matches against Israeli opponents due to a boycott.

The decision extends an ongoing suspension of the Iran Judo Federation that began in 2019, according to a statement from the International Judo Federation. In March, the international group said it would drop the suspension if Iran guaranteed it would allow its judokas to fight...

Julian Edelman, star Jewish wide receiver for New England Patriots, announces retirement

By MIKE BRODSKY

(JTA) — Julian Edelman, the New England Patriots wide receiver who has shown his Jewish pride on a number of occasions, will retire following a stellar 11-year career in which he won Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl LIII.

Edelman, who played in only six games last year due to a chronic knee injury, had his contract terminated Monday by the Patriots in a procedural move, ESPN...

Team Israel alumnus Sam Fuld brings his analytics and people skills to new role as Philadelphia Phillies GM

By ROB CHARRY

(JTA) – Sam Fuld, the new general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, says he’s just getting acquainted with one of his predecessors in the job, Ruben Amaro Jr., now a broadcaster for the club.

Their paths to the post are similar: Both have Jewish roots, attended Stanford and had an eight-year major league playing career.

“We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit,” Fuld said. “I’ve...

Diego Schwartzman becomes emotional after finally winning hometown Argentina Open

(JTA) — Diego Schwartzman, the 28-year-old Jewish tennis star, won his hometown Argentina Open on Sunday for the first time, beating a countryman in the final.

The top-seeded Schwartzman, who grew up in Buenos Aires, defeated unseeded Francisco Cerundulo in straight sets to win the $24,400 champion’s share. It was the first time a local player had won the tournament in 13 years.

“I’m very happy, I wanted to play...