Archive for the ‘high school / college sports’ Category


Maccabiah mentions: An occasional look at who’s going to the Games

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

An occasional look at who will be participating in the upcoming 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel…

And a shameless self promotion for my book, The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games.


Mish-Mashing (Trying to catch up)

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Things have been a bit hectic of late, what with looking for a new job and dealing with the release of the new book. So here’s a quick look back and what we (meaning I) have missed over the last several days.

Guest column: Irv Osterer on quirky college baseball

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Editor’s note: Irving Osterer writes about hockey for Jewish publications in Canada and has been a great source for the Korner through the years. So when he sent the following along, I asked if I could use it as a guest column. It’s not quite “Jews on first,” but it will do nicely.

Jews are well represented in college, amateur, and professional baseball ranks. Many have expressed pride in their faith and some refuse to play on Yom Kippur. One does not have to go further than the recent World Baseball Classic, to appreciate the impressive efforts of Team Israel, and their kippah-wearing tribute that went viral on the internet.

I believe that the SUNY Canton Roos, who play in the NCAA’s Empire 8 Division III, can boast a Jewish presence on the mound that is unmatched in the history of the game. The Roos have an authentic Cohen, a genuine Levy, and a Yisrael (OSTERER) in their bullpen. They have indeed covered all the bases in the event of an emergency weekday Torah service.

6′ Sophomore Phil Cohen, is a right handed pitcher from Liberty, New York.
5′ 8” Second year Matt Levy, is a right handed hurler from Long Beach, New York.
6′ 2” Senior Robbie Osterer, a “Yisrael” for religious purposes according to Mosaic law, is a right hander from Ottawa, Canada.

And should they need a fourth aliyah as they do for the Rosh Hodesh weekday morning reading, catcher/infielder freshman Alex Marshall, who hails from Melbourne, Australia can do the honours.





Yes, the NFL draft is over, but wait — there’s more.

Posted on: May 4th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Adam Bisnowaty, an offensive lineman from Pitt, was the only Jewish player selected in the recent NFL draft (sixth round by the NY Giants), but that doesn’t mean he was the only Jew signed.

As stated in a previous entry, the NY Jets snatched up former Washington State University wide receiver Gabe Marks immediately after the last round. Bob Wechsler, author of Day by Day in Jewish Sports History and constant source for the Korner, wrote to let us know that three more MOTs put their name on the dotted line (is it really dotted anymore?). They are:


Image result for Anthony Firkser Image result for Brandon Kublanow Svmmpeehjpsxandzkbuz
Anthony Firsker Brandon Kublanow Mitchel Kirsch

If Firsker makes it, he would join QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in what would have to be a relatively small club of Harvard alums on the same team. Only 38 players from that school have played in the NFL.

There’s a draft: Jews and the NFL

Posted on: April 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The NFL draft begins tomorrow. It’s amazing how much of a media event it’s become over the past few years, worthy of prime time/daylong coverage by ESPN and the NFL network.

I’ve been holding back on a lot of the football Google alerts I’ve been getting lately because, well, frankly, I think the NFL gets too much coverage when it doesn’t deserve it. But bowing to the inevitable, here we go.

Adam Bisnowaty

Adam Bisnowaty

Wither Pitt offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty? According to CardiacHill.com, “NFL.com has him as a fifth rounder.”

Gabe Marks

Gabe Marks

And what about Gabe Marks, late of Washington State? How will his shtick play in the big leagues?

UCLA QB Josh Rosen isn’t ready for the draft…yet. Now a junior, he missed most of last season with an injury, but he still garners a lot of attention.

As far as established JFLers go, Ali Marpet is slated to move over to the very responsible center position, which football pundits think is a good idea and which he is greatly looking forward to. And Mitchell Schwartz looks forward to a great year with the Kansas City Chiefs.

No Roman in Oregon win (plus Casspi update)

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The #3 Oregon Ducks moved in to the Elite eight with their 69-68 nail-biter win over #8 Michigan last night. Roman Sorkin, their 6’1″ junior forward, did not appear in the game. Tomorrow they will face #1 Kansas,  winners in a 98-66 blowout over Purdue.

So why did the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team “teetering on the edge of being eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race, sign Omri Casspi? His next opportunity comes tonight when the team visits the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Hoops, there it is: Omri Casspi, NCAA updates

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan
Omri Casspi

“I choose YOU!”

The LA Clippers could use Omri Casspi. No, the Houston Rockets. No, the Memphis Grizzlies. He was recently cleared to resume basketball activities following his broken thumb, sustained in his one and only game with the New Orleans Pelicans, who acquired him in a trade with the Sacramento Kings.

Ha-ha! Fooled you all! He has reportedly signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are four-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Occasional Gal Mekel reminder.

Over in the NCAAs, Spencer Weisz and Princeton lost to Notre Dame on Friday, 60-58, part of the West region.

On Saturday, Oregon, the #3 seed in the Midwest, beat #14 Iona, 93-77. Roman Sorkin played five minutes as a substitute, collecting one rebound. Oregon beat #11 University of Rhode Island the next day, 75-72, overcoming a 46-37 halftime deficit. Sorkin did not participate in this one. The Ducks will face #7 Michigan next weekend.

Also in the Midwest, #9 Michigan State beat #8 Miami, 78-58. Ben Carter is listed on the Michigan roster but did not appear in the game. They fell to #1 seed Kansas on Sunday, 90-70.

As for the ladies, Ally Rosenbaum‘s UCLA, the fourth seed in the Bridgeport Region, beat #13 Boise State, 83-56. Rosenbaum is listed on the roster but did not appear in the game. They take on #5 Texas A&M today.

Sydney Zambrotta played two minutes with one rebound off the bench for Louisville, ranked #4 in the Oklahoma City region, beat #13 Chattanooga, 82-62. Later today, it’s #5 Tennessee.

Sarah Hattis scored two points in three bench minutes as #8 Arizona State beat #9 Michigan State, 73-61, in the Stockton Region. They lost to #1 South Carolina on Sunday, 71-68/ Hattis played two minutes off the bench, pulled down a rebound, but turned the ball over once and made two personal fouls.



Breaking news: Weisz excels, but Princeton loses

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Spencer Weisz‘s finale for Princeton did not end on a happy note. The Tigers — who had won their previous 19 games — lost their first-round contest to Notre Dame, 60-58. They had 11 seconds left and an open look at a game-winning three-pointer, but came up short.

Spencer finished his academic career by playing all 40 minutes and led his team with 15 points, four assists, three three-pointers, two blocked shots, and a steal; he was second with five rebounds.

JTA published a profile on Spencer (who was also a gold medalist in the Maccabiah Games) a few days ago.

Spencer Weisz

MOT Madness: Three Jews in the NCAA’s ‘Big Dance’

Posted on: March 13th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Yesterday was selection Sunday for the NCAA men’s game. Here are “our” participants:

Image result for spencer weisz, princetonSpencer Weisz, Princeton (23-6, first in the Ivy League): A 6’4″, 210-pound senior guard from Florham Park, NJ, Weisz averaged 10.4 points per game, playing an average of 32.9 minutes, with 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. All those numbers were team-highs. They are ranked #50 and the #12 seed in the West Region (don’t ask, I could never figure out how they decided to put a team that’s practically in the Atlantic Ocean in the West) as they “host” #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo on March 16 at 12:15 p.m.


Ben Carter, Michigan State (#39, 19-14, fifth in the Big 10), is a 6’9″/225 forward from Las Vegas. He’s listed on the roster although he has not played a game this season. His is a very complex situation, having to do with transferring that you can read about here, as they can explain it better than I. Michigan State, the #9 seed in the Midwest “host” the #8 Miami Hurricanes on March 17 at 9:20 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Roman Sorkin, Oregon (#12, 29-5, first in the PAC-12), a 6’10″/225 from Ashdod, Israel. Sorkin appeared in 22 games, averaging 3.3 points in 8.1 minutes. They are the #3 seed in the Midwest and will take on the #14) Iona Gaels, on March 16 at 2 p.m. at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

Image result for roman sorkin, Oregon





Jewish sports scoreboard, Feb. 24-26, 2017

Posted on: February 27th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan


  • Omri Casspi broke his thumb in his first game with the New Orleans Pelicans after scoring 12 points. Now the team has waived him? How can that be fair?


  • Spencer Weisz had the most minutes and the fewest points for Princeton (33 and four, respectively) in Friday’s  64-45 win over host Columbia. He also had six rebounds, four assists, and two steals as a starting forward, the latter two categories led or tied for the team high. He led the Tigers with eight assists and four steals (tied, plus three rebounds) in Saturday’s 75-60 win over host Cornell, but scored just four points in 39 minutes as a starter (team-high again), missing on nine of ten field goal attempts, including oh-for-five from three-point land.
  • Jack Gordon played 11 minutes off the bench, scoring two points with five rebounds in Cornells’ 69-65 loss to visiting Penn on Friday. Teammate Jojo Fallis played 13 sub minutes. He was a starting guard the next day against Princeton, playing 26 minutes and scoring five points with two rebounds and two assists (and four turnovers and personal fouls). Gordon played 11 minutes as a sub, with three turnovers and a foul, in the 75-60 loss.
  • Sam Singer scored 14 points in 13 minutes as a sub, connecting on all seven of his field goal attempts, to help California beat visiting Oregon State on Friday, 76-46.
  • Hunter Sabety had three rebounds and two points in seven bench minutes. He also turned the ball over twice and committed four fouls in Hofstra’s 71-66 win over host James Madison on Saturday.
  • Daniel Levitt scored a pair in 12 bench minutes for Cleveland State in their 69-55 win over visiting Youngstown State on Saturday.
  • Jeremy Lieberman was a starting guard for Wyoming on Saturday in their 82-71 win over visiting New Mexico. He played 32 minutes, scoring six points with five rebounds, three assists, and a team-high five steals.
  • Egor Koulechov led Rice starters with 39 minutes in an 88-81 win over visiting Louisiana Tech on Saturday. He ended up with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
  • Ido Flaisher had two rebounds in eight minutes off the bench for Hawaii, who beat visiting CS Fullerton on Saturday 64-58.


  • Jen BerkowitzStarters Jen Berkowitz (forward) and Lena Munzer (guard) were co-leaders in minutes played (35) for Yale in their 57-52 win over visiting Harvard on Friday. Berkowitz (right) topped all players with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Munzer contributed another eight points and seven boards. On Saturday they combined for 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 58-58-44 win over visiting Dartmouth.
  • Emily Surloff played 11 minutes off the bench for Columbia in their 78-54 loss to host Princeton on Friday. The next day she scored six points with one rebound and two assists in a 68-59 loss to host Penn.
  • Sarah Hattis scored two for Arizona State with one rebound in six minutes off the bench in a 69-62 win over visiting USC on Friday. She missed on her only shot in three minutes off the bench in Sunday’s 55-52 loss to visiting #15 UCLA.
  • Drew Edelman led Santa Barbara with 17 points and 10 rebounds as a starting forward in a 70-61 loss to host UC Davis on Saturday.
  • Kim Jacobs scored two points in one minute off the bench for Pepperdine in their 84-79 loss to San Francisco on Saturday.
  • Sydney Zambrotta scored 10 points to lead #14 Louisville’s bench in their 75-46 win on Sunday over host Wake Forrest. She also had two assists in her 12 minutes on the court.


  • On Friday, Jason Demers took three shots on goal in 17:41 as the Florida Panthers fell to the visiting Calgary Flames, 4-2. Yesterday, he took one SOG in 16:26 in another loss, this one a 2-1 decision to the visiting Ottawa Senators.
  • On Saturday, Michael Cammalleri missed on all five of his SOGs (tied for team high) in the NJ Devils’ 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting NY Rangers. That makes an even 20 straight games without a goal for Cams.
  • Zach Hyman had one assist (#16) for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their 4-3 loss to the visiting Montreal Canadiens n Saturday. That broke his streak of nine games without a goal or assist. (Cammalleri has contributed some assists during his recent slide).



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