Slants on Sports

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The sports editor of the Mirror was rather surprised when he discovered that the New York University basketeers were a strictly kosher bunch this season. And, last Friday, from his ivory tower, he said:

“The New York University quintet is the big box office magnet this season. It chalked up its twenty-fifth victory in succession by beating Temple last Wednesday night, at the same time spoiling Temple’s clean slate for the season. Like most good basketball teams, hereabouts at any rate, the N. Y. U. five is strictly kosher. For some reason that the psychologists will have to explain, basketball appeals powerfully to Jewish folks, be they Litvaks, Galitzianers, Siberniks or even Bessarabians.

“Some of the greatest players in the game’s history have been (and still are for that matter) Jewish. The Violet line-up contains such fine old Irish patronymics as Gross, Schulman, Rubenstein, Greenberg, Maidman, Strauss, Weinstein, Machlowitz, Klein and Bromberg. A. Mr. O’Neill also sneaked into the line-up by a strange coincidence. The Litvak influence is all-powerful even in such originally Celtic institutions as St. John’s of Brooklyn, which year after year turns out almost 100 per cent Yiddisher quintets that are among the best in the land (and on occasions, in the past, the highest salaried in their extra-curricular basketball activities).

JEWS IN BASKETBALL ELSEWHERE

“Temple,” Dan goes on to say, “also has its quota of Slobodka boys, proving that the Hebrew influence in basketball is not a phenomenon peculiar to New York. Messrs. Rosen, Friedberg, Greenberg, Dublin, and Casper, were among the Temple tossers who loom as Litvaks superficially.”

Parker seems to have forgotten Dave Smukler for the moment. And should he cast his eye on just a few university teams in the country he will find, Kupperberg and Stelzer are stars for Minnesota; Mandelkorn is a crack defense man for the Navy cagemen, and Kahn stars at North Carolina.

At any rate, Parker has accomplished a noteworthy feat. He discovered the names of the boys on the N. Y. U. team after they had played six games.

TABLE TENNIS—A MAN’S SIZED GAME

What spaghetti is to an Italian, what the Moulin Rouge is to Paris, just so is table tennis to the Hungarians. All Europe plays table tennis. At present it is the vogue of the hour in Paris. Two British Davis Cup players, Bunny Austin and Fred Perry, are experts, the latter having won the world championship some years ago. America plays it and calls it ping pong. Still, Americans have lagged behind although the game has a considerable following here.

All this is to be changed. Two Hungarians— Jews — Viktor Viki Barna and Sandor Glanze are here to show Americans how it is done. Likewise, this nation will put forward a few ping pongers who will try to stem the Hungarian tide. The foremost exponents of table tennis in this country are five Jews and an Irishman. They are Sidney Heitner, former American champion; Sol Schiff, called the Tiger of the Table tennis tournaments; Marc Schussheim, Abram Berenbaum, and Sol Silberman. These youngsters allowed a foreigner—and an Irishman at that— to heat them at a recent tournament at the Downtown Athletic Club. However, the man who beats both Barna and Glanze will be named to go abroad and meet the cream of the European ping pong talent.

JEWISH ACE, WORLD’S CHAMPION

Viki Barna is the present world’s champion. He has been touring America in a 4,000 mile nationwide swing under the auspices of the U. S. Table Tennis Association. Next Wednesday he meets the Jewish lads named above and also Jimmy McLure.

Barna has held the world’s championship for the last four years. He is considered the greatest player at the present time. He is the winner of seventy-three titles and 524 cups and trophies and has never lost a title except by not defending it. For five years he has been the mainstay of the world champion Hungarian team, which has won the Swaything cup in all but one of the eight years of competition. His feat last December in Paris of winning thirteen straight matches against the greatest players of the world has never before been equaled.

HELD DOUBLES CROWN AS WELL

Viki is only twenty-three years old. He is of medium height and weight and plays most of his shots on his backhand, which is the best in the world. His renowned backhand ‘flick’ comes without warning and with the speed of a bullet. His forehand kills are simply unreturnable. He has strokes that few believed existed. It is rumored that even Dan Parker may mention him one of these days.

Sandor Glanzc paired with Barna to win the world’s doubles championship last year. Glanzc, a six-footer who towers above Barna, has held the English, German, Austrian, and Hungarian singles championships. He possesses a superb defense, returns drives with terrific forehand chops that invariably land on the exact spot. His accuracy is so amazing that he can drive a ball three out of four times into a box three inches square.

In 1627 the University of Leyden created a chair of Christian polemics to defend the Christian religion against the attacks of Jewish theology and to convert Jews to Christianity.

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