Saturday, February 4, 2012

Where is the Next Big Jewish Basketball Star?

The NBA is up and running. Omri Casspi is starting without very impressive numbers and Jordan Farmar remains a solid backup on the verge of leading a team. Since everything is status quo with our star NBA players, TGR begs to ask the question, who is next? (Not a Goldberg reference).

In the college game right now, our upperclassmen and top scorers play for small schools. Certainly Zach Rosen and Jake Cohen will have a chance to play overseas, but it is unlikely either will make the NBA. Corbin Moore and Chris Wroblewski have improved but there chances are even dimmer. 

If we look at some of the younger players at top programs, we have a few. Jacob Susskind at Maryland, Danny Rubin at Boston College, and Nate Lubick at Georgetown. As of now none of them show NBA caliber potential  but should improve at these big time programs. Also, next year Aaron Liberman will join the Northwestern Wildcats. At 6'9 he is a project but could have some potential if he puts on weight, but again NBA is very unlikely.

So we look overseas to Israel. I bring to you Idam Zalmanson, a 6'9 forward who is only 16 and already playing with the pros. He is not draft eligible until 2017, but with his size could make Zalmanson the next big Jewish star. He was pre-draft already by Maccabi Tel Aviv, so he will get top competition and European recognition.

Of course, there is the outside chance that Jon Scheyer or Sylven Landesberg put it together and make a run at the NBA, but neither has been NBA impressive in their short time in Israel. Landesberg is averging 21.8 ppg but his team has been a big let down at 3-12.

So watch out for Zalmanson even if its a little ways away, so until then enjoy the Casspi and Farmar moments.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

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