Monday, November 20, 2017

MLB Offseason Rumors


Ian Kinsler has been involved in lots of trade rumors. Tigers looking to rebuild and the Mets have shown interest. Click HERE to read more.

The Giants figure to be players in the off-season. Could Ryan Braun bring his bat to California?


Monday, October 30, 2017

Bregman, Pederson, More Bregman


Saturday evening Joc Pederson and Alex Bregman became the 1st two MoTs to homer in the same World Series game.

On Sunday evening Bregman capped off the back and forth with a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th.

Game 6 could bring about even more highlights.

Kapler to Manage Phillies

It is believed that Gabe Kapler will take over the Phillies vacant managerial position.

Interview with Alley-Opp to Aliyah's David Goldstein


We heard about this really cool book explore Israel Basketball. We caught up with author David Goldstein to hear about his research and story.
 
Image result for alley oop for aliyah

1) Tell TGR a bit about yourself?

I’m a journalist and sports executive based in Toronto, Canada. After 10 years as a corporate lawyer, I left my firm to become the Chief Operating Officer of U SPORTS (the national governing body of university sports in Canada - our equivalent of the NCAA). I’m also an adjunct professor of sports law at the University of Toronto, and I lecture on the topic at my alma mater, Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). I’m a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and I profiled NBA players for more than a decade in a regular sports feature for the Cincinnati Enquirer. From 2002 to 2003 I also wrote for SHARE, a weekly African Canadian and Caribbean newspaper in Toronto. My father is from Canada, and my mother is originally from Israel. I was born and raised here, and went to Jewish day schools and summer camps before going to Northwestern. 

2) What is Alley-Oop to Aliyah?
Alley-Oop to Aliyah is the incredible true story of four decades of African American hoopsters choosing to go to Israel to play professional basketball.

In that time, more than 800 African Americans have played in Israel, and many have fallen in love with the country and returned year after year. Some were born Black and Jewish; others converted to Judaism. Some even married Israeli women, served in the Israeli military, raised Israeli children, and remained in Israel permanently. 

The book examines how they end up in the country in the first place, the multitude of distinctive aspects of their lives there, the challenges and difficulties they face, and the reasons some choose to return year after year, or even stay.

3) How did this project come into being?
My brother and I were in Jerusalem visiting my maternal grandparents in May 2007. They had invited some of their friends over (all women well into their 80s), and the conversation took a big turn when my grandmother mentioned that we were from Toronto.

“Ohhh, Toronto – Anthony Parker!” they exclaimed. “Eizeh motek!”, Hebrew for “What a sweetie!” They also characterized him as “be’emet mentsch!”, Hebrew and Yiddish for “truly an honorable man!”

I had no sense that the current city of residence of a prior Israeli league basketball player would be common knowledge among a group of elderly ladies in a religious neighborhood of Jerusalem. If they were this into the game, what must the rest of the country have been like? My curiosity—about basketball in Israel, generally, and the experience and impact of African American players there, specifically—was piqued.

I printed up a few articles for the plane ride home, and began what would ultimately become a decade-long process of research and writing, culminating in this book.

4) What was the biggest thing you learned through your journey?
I learned more in the last 10 years working on this book than I could have ever imagined. More than anything else, I learned about an unsung cohort of people who are, in their own way, extraordinary ambassadors and heroes of Israel. I always pictured prominent Israelis as political figures, military leaders, and religious scholars. African American basketball players in Israel, however, embrace the country, represent it and advocate for it internationally, and remain side-by-side with their fellow Israelis during times of conflict, when they could easily choose to leave. By bringing high-level basketball to Israel, they also provide invaluable distraction during those difficult times, and some even serve in the Israeli military themselves, or raise sons or daughters who do so. 

The positive feelings so many African American basketball players have toward Israel, and the bond they develop with Israelis, are extraordinary. That said, their experiences aren't perfect, and I discuss their primary challenges in detail as well.  

5) How can people learn more or get involved?
If you're interested, you can learn more about Alley-Oop to Aliyah on the book website (http://www.alleyooptoaliyah.com), you can follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/alleyoop2aliyah), or you can like the book on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/alleyooptoaliyah). 

There's also a great article that recently came out about the book from The Times of Israel: https://www.timesofisrael.com/alley-oop-to-the-holy-land-40-years-of-african-american-hoopsters-in-israel/

As for getting more involved, I would encourage your readers to spread the word about the book to anyone they know who may be interested in the subject.

6) Whats next?
After a process that's spanned more than a decade, Alley-Oop to Aliyah: African American Hoopsters in the Holy Land finally comes out on November 7

I'm reaching out to media about covering the book, and to various organizations about potential events and speaking engagements to promote it. I'll be focusing my efforts in Toronto, New York, and Chicago for the two weeks surrounding the release, and expanding those efforts thereafter.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Interview: NFL Receiver Greg Camarillo

Greg Camarillo is the man. From practice squad to NFL receiver, he turned his story into the ultimate story of out kicking one's coverage. Hard work. Determination. Dream achieved. After a solid NFL career he finds himself helping other student-athletes, sharing his story with the next generation. We caught up with Greg to hear more about his journey.

Share on Twitter or Facebook by tagging @RabbiJeremyFine and the opportunity to win a sign Camarillo card!



1) Greg you had a solid NFL career. What was your biggest achievement?Overall, my biggest achievement is just making an NFL roster. I was a walk-on punter/receiver entering college and never was a starter at Stanford. I got lucky to get an undrafted tryout with the Chargers, an opportunity I capitalized on. After a year on the practice squad, I was able to make the roster and play on special teams. A single achievement would be in Miami when I scored a touchdown against the Chargers, my former team. That moment represented how far I had come from being a practice squad receiver to scoring a touchdown as a starter against my old teammates.


2) Looking back at your NFL career, what would you have done differently?

There's not much I would have done differently. During the lockout and CBA negotiations, I was not able to work out at the Vikings facility so I stayed in Miami and worked with a personal trainer. I had a very specific diet which greatly helped my training. I wish I would've learned about that earlier in my career. 

3) As a receiver, who was the best quarterback to play with?
Chad Pennington was the most receiver friendly quarterback I ever played with. He threw the most catchable balls. He had impeccable timing and accuracy and was also a great communicator. I always knew exactly what he was looking for and where he would throw the ball. In addition, he was a great team leader.

4) Your college career was unique as you started out as a punter. How did you change your game to acclimate to becoming a NFL receiver?
My biggest growth came from being on scout team in both college and the pros. On scout team, you're going against the first team defense and facing the best corners on the team, usually in situations that favor the defense. Going against the best forces you to improve and hone your skills. 


5) What advice do you have for young High School or college players trying to get noticed?
Have fun while working hard. Sports should be fun but that doesn't mean joke around. Give it everything you have so you don't have any regrets but also remember that, ultimately, it's a game. Getting noticed will come with hard work. Don't focus on getting recruited. Focus on doing your best and let the rest fall into place. 


6) What was your Jewish life like growing up?
I grew up in a multi-racial,  multi-religious house so my life was very unique. I also grew up in a neighborhood with very few Jewish families. I took great pride in my unique background, especially during the holidays. 


7) What are you up to these days?
I'm living in San Diego with my wife and three daughters (4.5, 2.5 yrs old and a little baby that's 1 month). I'm working at University of San Diego focusing on student-athlete development, which is career and leadership growth for our athletes. I'm also an analyst for NBC's Football Night in San Diego.

8) What is the one thing you miss most about your playing days?I really miss the overall grind. The physical and mental determination of putting all of my energy into something. It's now very rare that I will exert myself to a physical extreme. I miss the satisfaction from that moment when I knew I gave it everything I had. 


9) Anything else you want to add?
Skol Vikes!