Israeli Handicapped Hoopsters in the U.S. for Games This Week and Next
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Israeli Handicapped Hoopsters in the U.S. for Games This Week and Next

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The llan Haifa basketball team, composed of several of Israel’s top-flight handicapped athletes, will be touring the eastern part of the United States this week and next.

The team is scheduled to play two games in Long Island against a handicapped team known as The Express. These games will be played tomorrow at the Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, and on Thursday at the East Northport Medical Center in Northport.

The third game is sheduled to be played in Frisch Academy in Paramus, N.J., against The Chargers, a war veterans club sponsored by the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association. On October 28, the Haifa team will play a war veterans handicapped team in Harrisburg, Pa. On October 30 the team will compete with a war veterans handicapped team in Washington, D. C.

Ilan is a voluntary organization which, since 1952, has cared for thousands of handicapped afflicted with cerebral palsy, polio, and army-sustained injuries. The Haifa branch of Ilan provides aid and services to 2,000 handicapped children, youths and adults.


Its basketball team is one of the top clubs in Israel and one of the most outstanding players is Smadar Tzur, who was in the Israeli army and lost a leg in an automobile accident. She is, in addition to being a hoop luminary, an outstanding swimmer.

Shmuel Auslander, who is a systems analyzer and director of a computing center in Haifa, is a founder and member of the basketball team for the past 18 years. He has represented Israel at the famous Stoke Mandeville games in England and has competed in France, South Africa, Belgium and Holland. In addition to his appearance on the hardwood, he has represented Israel in fencing at the English games where he won three medals. He had served until a year ago as Captain of the team since it was established.

Perhaps the most outstanding athlete in the group is Nachman Wolf, an economist and an accountant in a Haifa industrial plant. A member of the Haifa Ilan hoop club for eight years, he served as a member of the Israeli delegation at the Stoke Mandeville games and at toumaments in France. In the Stoke Mandeville contest, Wolf broke three world records in the discus throw, bowls and javelin. He won two gold and two silver medals for discus, bowls and javelin events in the international competitions.

Another outstanding member is Joseph Sadok, a rabbi, who serves as a Talmud teacher and writes books on the Torah. He has been a member of the basketball team for the past eight years.

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