Ossie Schectman, who scored the first basket in the league that would become the NBA, has died.
I was too young to see Hank Greenberg play. That was my father’s generation. But growing up in New Jersey, I well remember the day when Sandy Koufax, playing for the Dodgers, announced his electrifying decision to sit out a 1965 World Series game on Yom Kippur. Koufax’s action was a great source of pride to a Jewish kid with a baseball glove perennially at hand and who had heard way too many jokes about the thin book of Jewish sports heroes.
Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks reportedly said he is a practicing Jew "spiritually and culturally."
Some still affectionately refer to the game that they and top coaches such as Red Sarachek and Red Auerbach developed -- emphasizing teamwork, crisp passing and defense -- as "Jew ball."