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Happy Friday! Whatever plans you have for Monday, cancel them: Oct. 30 will be the 30th-ever “sports equinox,” when the sports world perfectly aligns and all four major men’s sports play games on the same day.
There is Monday Night Football, Game 3 of the World Series and several games in the NBA and NHL. We hope you enjoy it, even if there are no Jews in the World Series for the first time in years…
The NBA’s Jewish roster is growing
The NBA season is upon us, and Israeli forward Deni Avdija is poised for his biggest year yet.
Avdija, who averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season, just signed a four-year, $55 million contract extension with the Washington Wizards.
“It’s rare to find young players who embrace the defensive end as enthusiastically as Avdija has,” Wizards reporter Josh Robbins wrote in The Athletic, referencing the winger’s potential to see his value continually grow.
Beyond Avdija, there are a few other Jewish players and storylines to watch in the 2023-2024 NBA season — like Domantas Sabonis, who is converting to Judaism; Amari Bailey, who was drafted this past summer; and Ryan Turell, the Orthodox prospect who is still looking to make NBA history.
NEW BOSS IN BEANTOWN. The Boston Red Sox have hired former Team Israel pitcher Craig Breslow as their new chief baseball officer. Breslow, who played 12 seasons in the MLB, including two stints with the Sox, replaces fellow Jewish Yale alum Chaim Bloom.
NEXT QUESTION PLEASE. Michigan State University apologized this week after showing a photo of Adolf Hitler on its video screen during a pregame trivia quiz.
YOUK SPEAKS OUT. Former MLB All-Star and Team Israel coach Kevin Youkilis has been one of the louder voices in the Jewish sports world since the war in Israel began three weeks ago. He spoke to the Boston Herald’s Gabrielle Starr about why he speaks out against antisemitism and in support of Israel.
CLOSE TO HOME. The Yeshiva University basketball team has six Israeli players. ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap spoke to the team this week for a feature on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” to see how the team is preparing for a new season amid the ongoing war.
RAISING HER VOICE. Jewish Olympian Aly Raisman released a statement this week in response to the violence in Israel. “I am horrified by Hamas’s brutal acts of terrorism against Israelis,” Raisman wrote. “As a proud Jew, I’m terrified and disgusted by the rise of antisemitism and the hatred and violence it fuels.”
PITCHING IN. Jewish pitchers Eric Reyzelman and Harrison Cohen, both of whom play in the New York Yankees farm system, launched an initiative to sell merchandise to benefit Friends of the IDF and Magen David Adom. They wrote that the project is a “tangible way for Jews and non-Jews alike to support and represent Israel from afar in its pursuit of light over darkness.”
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
🏀 IN BASKETBALL…
Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards host the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings play the Golden State Warriors tonight at 10 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
🏒 IN HOCKEY…
Jack and Luke Hughes and the New Jersey Devils host Devon Levi and the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Levi has been nursing a lower body injury but could be back in action soon. Adam Fox and the New York Rangers play Quinn Hughes and the Vancouver Canucks Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. (Need a Jewish NHL refresher? Check out our recent Jewish guide to the NHL season.)
🏈 IN FOOTBALL…
It’s Week 8 in the NFL — here are Sunday’s Jewish matchups: At 1 p.m. ET, A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers host Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings. At 4:05 p.m. ET, Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks face the Cleveland Browns. Browns guard Michael Dunn has been placed on the injured reserve, meaning he’ll miss at least four games.
⚽️ IN SOCCER…
Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest host Liverpool on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET. In the Austrian Bundesliga, Israeli player Oscar Gloukh and Red Bull Salzburg play Altach Saturday at 11 a.m. ET. Gloukh, a member of the Israeli national team, dedicated his Champions League goal on Tuesday to his country.
See ya in November!
Shabbat shalom, and to those who celebrate, Happy Halloween! We’ll be going as playoff celebration Garrett Stubbs this year.