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JewishJournal.com

August 24, 2009

Jewish Jordan hanging it up

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/jewish_jordan_hanging_it_up_20090824/

There were a flurry of stories about Tamir Goodman this past spring that looked at the fizzled career of the Jewish Jordan 10 years after he exploded onto the scene. Now it looks like Goodman is hanging up his Air Jordan’s.

Just got an email inviting me to Goodman’s retirement press conference next month. In honor, here’s some previously unpublished quotes from the interview I did with Goodman back in April. What most surprised me, and is clearly evident in these comments, is the sense of godly purpose with which Goodman played the game and lived his life:

“I was born with a special Jewish pride,” Goodman said. “I was so eager to show the world that Jewish players could play too. I love that I was created with that.

“When I was six and going to basketball camps, I couldn’t wait to be not only successful but show everyone that I was successful with my kippah on and eating kosher food. I wanted to show everyone not for myself but for the Jewish world.”

He later added: “My biggest blessing that I have always had is being able to grow closer to the Torah and closer to God through the Commandments and it has just helped my basketball in every way. The same type of dedication and faith and hard work and everything that the Torah expects from you, is the same tools that you need to succeed at basketball—hard work, preparation, team work. You can’t just pray in the morning. You have to prepare. There are no days off in Judaism, just like basketball.”

Now it looks like Goodman will be dedicating himself to charity as the new director of the Haifa Hoops for Kids program.

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