NEW YORK (Feb. 10)
Members of Israel’s National Basketball Team said here Friday that reports of anti-Israel attitudes among Black players at Rochester University were highly exaggerated. “We did not feel anything was unusual” about the game last Monday night, according to Itamar Marzel, the team captain, speaking at a press conference at the Israeli Consulate here. Black Muslims in Rochester protested against the game and demanded that the three Black players on the Rochester University team refuse to play. One of the Black players failed to show up and the other two played only the first half of the game, won by Israel 102 to 60.
Abraham Hemmo, another member of the Israeli team, said the two players who played only in the first half quit after “they realized we were winning.” The Israeli players said they did not anticipate any other incidents during their U.S. tour in which they will play 10 more games. Haim Glovinsky, the Israeli liaison officer of the U.S. Committee Sports for Israel, who is escorting the team on its tour, discussed future games with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
He said he considered only three of the forthcoming 10 games as likely to be difficult, and that the one scheduled for Madison Square Garden on Feb. 13 might be the most challenging. “in the, meantime, we are in a winning position and I hope we will continue,” he said. The Israeli team is here under tight security measures and for that reason details of the upcoming games were not disclosed. American authorities have insisted on the tight security to avoid “a second Munich.” The current visit is the first by the Israeli team since 1966. It was reported at the press conference that the Israeli National Soccer Team will be coming to the U.S. next Sept. (By Yitzhak Rabi)