First Hillel hoops tourney tipping off at Maryland


NEW YORK (JTA) — Men’s and women’s teams from 20 colleges will compete at the University of Maryland in the inaugural National Hillel Basketball Tournament.

Twenty-five men’s teams and seven women’s squads will be participating in the tournament this weekend, with the women’s final at 3:15 p.m. Sunday and the men’s final 30 minutes later.

The tournament is being presented by the Israeli professional basketball team Barak Netanya to benefit the participating Hillels and Bring It In-Israel, a non-profit organization in Netanya that uses basketball to teach life skills, develop leaders and build community for disadvantaged youth.

Games will begin Saturday after sundown at two sites, Reckord Armory and Ritchie Coliseum. Each team will play three preliminaries and then be seeded into a single-elimination tournament bracket. An awards ceremony at Ritchie Coliseum following the finals will crown the champions and honor outstanding players.

The University of Maryland Hillel also will provide a Shabbat experience to include traditional services, meals and social activities starting Friday with the Tournament Kickoff Shabbat Dinner. Maryland students will host the players in campus housing.

“It’s such a unique and exciting opportunity for Jewish students from all over the country to come together for a Hillel weekend of basketball, Shabbat and celebration," said Rabbi Ari Israel, executive director of the Maryland Hillel. "Seeing student leaders step up to plan the entire weekend is a true testament to their commitment to our community.”

The participating schools are Binghamton University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Goucher College, the University of Michigan, Muhlenberg College, New York
University, Oberlin College, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Queens College, Rutgers University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University at Buffalo, the University of Maryland, the University of Rhode Island, Washington University in St. Louis and Yeshiva University.

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