Yeshiva University men’s basketball team will avoid Shabbat games for NCAA Division III tournament


(JTA) — The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team won’t have to worry about playing on Shabbat in the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

The team announced Tuesday in a post on its Facebook page that its game against York College in Pennsylvania will take place at 1 p.m. Friday. The original schedule had Y.U., the flagship university of Modern Orthodox Judaism, playing at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“They are keenly aware of our restrictions – they’ve been talking about how to accommodate us since at least Saturday evening,” Yeshiva’s athletic director, Joe Bednarsh, told The Times of Israel on Tuesday, hours before the schedule was finalized.

If the Maccabees (18-10) defeat York (23-4), champions of the Capital Athletic Conference, they will advance to play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in York against the winner of the Nazareth-Hamilton first-round game.

On Sunday, Y.U. defeated Purchase College, 87-81, in Purchase, New York, to win the Skyline Conference championship and its first berth in the national tournament.

Bednarsh said after the victory that people from all over the world have been following the squad’s run to the championship.

“People have been reaching out to me about this team from Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, Israel, England and more,” he said. “The Maccabees are truly the pride of the Jewish people.”

Division III member institutions do not offer scholarships to their student-athletes.

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