Skin-toned sleeves allow Shafir to play for Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli hoopster Naama Shafir competed in the European women’s championship wearing skin-toned elastic sleeves.

The compromise between the Israeli national team and FIBA Europe, the Munich-based organization that governs basketball in Europe, came after FIBA refused to allow Shafir to play in the EuroBasket tournament with a T-shirt under her jersey, for reasons of modesty, since FIBA regulations state that all players must wear the same uniform.

The Israelis have lost both of their tournament games. They fell to Belarus, 68-41, on Sunday after losing to the Czech Republic, 72-56, the previous day.

Shafir, a guard, scored 2 points and pulled down 3 rebounds in 16 minutes against Belarus. She had 3 points and as many assists in 10 minutes against the Czechs.

Shafir, 21, who hails from the town of Hoshaya in northern Israel, told the Associated Press that she would not compromise her religious beliefs and would not play with her shoulders bare. She does not play or practice on Shabbat, and is provided with kosher food, according to the AP.

In April, Shafir scored 40 points to power the University of Toledo to victory in the championship game of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament — the school’s first-ever postseason tournament title. She wears a T-shirt under her jersey for her collegiate games.

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