Friday, January 15th 2021   |


Israeli teen Deni Avdija goes to Washington Wizards with 9th pick of NBA Draft, making history


(JTA) — Deni Avdija, the 19-year-old Israeli basketball phenom, was taken by the Washington Wizards with the ninth overall pick of the NBA Draft on Wednesday night – the earliest an Israeli has been picked in league history.

Avdija, a lanky 6-9 forward for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel’s top professional league, becomes the second player from the Jewish state to go in the first round. Omri...

Israel’s cycling team notches first-ever stage win at one of the sport’s biggest races

(JTA) — An Israeli professional cycling team won a stage of one of the three major international races for the first time ever on Saturday.

Alex Dowsett won Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia for Team Israel Start-Up Nation, which was established in 2015 and joined the highest level of professional cycling only last year.

The Giro d’Italia is one of cycling’s three prestigious Grand Tour races, along with the...

2 Jewish stars helped power the Seattle Storm to a WNBA championship


(JTA) — In a sweep, the Seattle Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces for the 2020 WNBA championship title on Tuesday night. Instrumental in that victory were two Jewish stars: starting point guard Sue Bird and starting forward Alysha Clark.

Bird, who made history in Game 1 of the series with a record number of assists, became the third-ever basketball player — male or female — to...

Diego Schwartzman beats Nadal and Shapovalov to advance to Italian Open finals


(JTA) — Tenth time is the charm: After previously losing to Rafael Nadal nine straight times, Diego Schwartzman stunned him in straight sets on Saturday.

The Jewish Argentine tennis star won 6-2, 7-5 in just over two hours in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open, which takes place on clay — the surface that Nadal is best on.

“For sure, it’s my best match ever,” Schwartzman said....

Major League Baseball’s official historian on Jews in baseball and making sense of the weirdest season of all time


(JTA) — From Hank Greenberg to Sandy Koufax to Alex Bregman, Jews and baseball go way back, to the 19th century. It’s not just players and fans — the participation even extends to the role of official baseball historian of Major League Baseball. 

The first man to hold the title, the legendary Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman, was Jewish, and an inductee to the International Jewish Sports Hall...

Former Major League player Cody Decker says anti-Semitism is ‘rampant’ in pro baseball

(JTA) – Former pro baseball player Cody Decker said that anti-Semitism is “rampant throughout baseball” and that an Oakland Athletics coach should be suspended for making a Nazi salute after a game.

Decker, who played briefly for the San Diego Padres and for Israel’s national team in the World Baseball Classic, spoke candidly on the topic with TMZ Sports on Saturday. He detailed several instances over the course of his...

Larry Johnson, former Kansas City Chiefs running back, tweets that Jews are involved in sex trafficking, pedophilia and more

(JTA) — Larry Johnson, a former running back who played seven seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, tweeted multiple times to his more than 147,000 followers over the weekend that a Jewish “cabal” is involved in “Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Pedophilia, Ritualistic Child Torture, Perversion, Human Sacrifice/Murder.” And on Monday, he showed no signs of apologizing.

Johnson framed one of those tweets as a response to Max Kellerman, the Jewish...

Natalie Portman is ‘all in’ as an owner of new LA women’s soccer team


(JTA) — Soccer and Natalie Portman fans have a double reason to celebrate today: The Jewish actress will be a co-owner of a new National Women’s Soccer League team in Los Angeles, and she’s pretty excited about it.

“Whatever I do, I’m all in. I’m committed to developing this organization in a way that delivers on our promise to ignite higher expectations on and off the field,”...

Giants Jewish manager Gabe Kapler kneels during playing of national anthem

(JTA) — Gabe Kapler, in his first season as San Francisco Giants manager, took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the start of an exhibition game.

Kapler, 44, who is Jewish and a former coach for Team Israel, was joined by several of his players on Monday night before facing the Oakland Athletics. The Giants won, 6-2.

He told the team earlier in the day that...

Amar’e Stoudemire offers to bridge the gap between Blacks and Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire said there is a “lack of leadership” in the Black community that has led to expressions of anti-Semitism, and he has offered to bridge the gap between Jews and Blacks.

Stoudemire, who lives and plays professionally in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv, was reacting to a number of recent anti-Semitic social media posts by Black sports figures and celebrities.

He told the TMZ...