Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 19, 2015 · Page A6
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A6

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Monday, October 19, 2015
Page A6
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"%+1*$.%&#0.3+(,+) ) &%"1/*!1,'1'-2/,1$,/1 %+(*+*")#$(!)')&$%+(*+*")#$(!)')&$ %+(*+*")#$(!)')&$ %+(*+*")#$(!)')&$%+(*+*")#$(!)')&$%+(*+*")#$(!)')&$ )!%'$("*%(&%# WWW.INSEASONFP.COM StartEarly, SaveBig 585.334.4480 +"",*310#-!2(-003.63/&#-!2(-00345',))%$ Getspecialpre-season pricingoneverything! Topaz Gas Insert (30,000 BTU’s) Installed with Blower & Surround Reg: $ 3,800 Sale $ 2,999 STEELENTRYDOORS WINDOWS SIDING•DOORS 654-7000 He was only a 17-year- old high school junior when Sports Illustrated dubbed him the “Jewish Jordan” in a four-page story in 1999. Considering Tamir Goodman still had a year of high school left at Tal- mudical Academy in Balt imore, it was perhaps j ust a bit premature to m ake comparisons to bask etball icon Michael Jordan. “I never really liked the nickname,” Goodman said. “But I did know it w asn’t about me. It was a bout something greater.” I ndeed, that special something lives on in Goodman’s work. While Jerusalem is now his home, he spent the past week sharing a message of inspiration as he hop- scotched the Great Lakes and Northeast. The final stop of his t rip came Sunday when he v isited the Jewish Comm unity Center of Greater R ochester to conduct a basketball clinic in the afternoon and deliver a talk at night. About 50 kids, ages 5 t hrough early teens, took p art in the clinic, with G oodman teaching a variety of drills and skills. “I thought it was a really good experience,” said Sam Zarkowsky, 14, of Rochester. “Everyone from second grade to ninth grade was doing the same activities.” Most of the kids hadn’t b een born when Goodman w as playing NCAA Divis ion I basketball at Tows on University in Baltimore, and they never really knew of his pro career in Israel, a career brought to a premature end by injuries in 2009. But they listened intently to his advice, they emulated how he dribbled, and they tried a wee bit harder not to miss a shot when they knew he was watching. “I thought it was cool h e wanted to help out some kids at a JCC,” said Gilad Symons, 13, of Buffalo. Actually Goodman is all about helping, on and off the court. He is sharing his experiences — of overcoming injuries, of h olding firm to religious beliefs — when he speaks t o classes and at banquets and gatherings. D uring this tour he was at the University of Michigan, University of Rhode Island and Stony Brook University before coming to Rochester at the re- q uest of Rabbi Yitzi Hein, co-director of the Chabad of Pittsford. “He has a very unique story of sticking up for his Jewish beliefs in a scary environment of big-time college basketball,” Hein said. “He has an inspiring m essage of sticking up for who you are and being p roud of who you are. People respect people who respect their beliefs.” While in high school, G oodman accepted a scholarship at the University of Maryland. But he refused to play games or take part in basketball act ivities during Shabbat. T owson agreed to not schedule games that conflicted. He played professionally in Israel until knee a nd hand injuries made it i mpossible to continue. He now delivers a mes- sage of hope to others. “There was simply no physical way I could play anymore, but I could do good through this game of b asketball,” he said. “I o vercame so many surgeries and so many setbacks in my career. Now it’s, ‘How can I inspire you to achieve greatness in y our life?’ “ K EVINO@gan- ‘Jewish Jordan’ shares life’s lessons JEFF WITHEROWJEFF WITHEROW Tamir Goodman coaches kids at the Jewish Community Center during the Basketball Clinic with aStar, Oct. 18. Retired basketball player an inspiration on and off the court for youngsters KEVIN OKLOBZIJA @KEVINODANDC JEFF WITHEROWJEFF WITHEROW Tamir Goodman signs autographs for the kids following the basketball clinic. "I never really liked the nickname. But I did know it wasn’t about me." TAMIR GOODMAN RETIRED BASKETBALL PLA YER

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