‘Jewish Dwight Howard’ Aaron Liberman to play for Northwestern

NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish basketball player Aaron Liberman of Los Angeles’ Valley Torah High School will be playing for the Northwestern University basketball team as a non-scholarship walk-on this upcoming season.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center, who is already referred to as the “Jewish Dwight Howard” on basketball sites, wears a yarmulke during games. Following his high school graduation, he spent one year studying in Israel while he continued to practice basketball.

In addition, Liberman led the United States to a gold medal at the Maccabi Pan American Games in Brazil in January.

Liberman averaged fifth in the nation in shot blocks in 2011, which earned Valley Torah High School the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championship and made him a recipient of the 2011 John R. Wooden High School Basketball Player of the Year Award. The award is given to top southern California players.

"Aaron had a tremendous opportunity to spend a year abroad studying and playing in Israel,” Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said on the team’s official website, “He has made excellent strides to develop his body and to hone his skills on the court. He will be a great addition to our revamped front court.”

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