Hoopster Jon Scheyer makes aliyah


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Duke University basketball standout Jon Scheyer arrived in Israel and immediately made aliyah.

Scheyer, who signed in June to play with Israel’s championship Maccabi Tel Aviv team, landed Tuesday in Israel on a group aliyah flight organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. 

“I am really looking forward to starting my new life in Israel and playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv,” Scheyer said.

Scheyer, a guard who during his senior year helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA Championship, signed a two-year contract with Maccabi, which was the runner-up to the Euroleague champions this year and has won the Euroleague championship four times.

The team by Israeli rules is limited to no more than four foreign players. Since Scheyer has made aliyah, he will not count as one of the four. 

"I wanted Jon already last season, and I’m very happy that we managed to sign him," Maccabi coach David Blatt told reporters at the signing, adding that Scheyer is "a very talented and smart player" and "a true winner."

"Not less importantly he is a Jew who is coming to Israel," Blatt said, "and I wish he will stay here for many more years."

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