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The Week at a Glance
Posted: Monday January 18, 1999 11:42 PM
The Bandwagon | The Avery Watch
The Jewish Jordan
By Dan Shanoff, CNN/SI
For those of us going through MJ withdrawal, there is hope. Grant Hill covers the endorsement end, Kobe covers the dunks, Iverson covers the attitude -- among others who form a "piecemeal Jordan."
And then there is "Jewish Jordan" -- "JJ" as he is known to his teammates.
A 6-foot-3 scorer, a slinky passer, a 155-pound dunker. An Orthodox Jew.
He is Tamir Goodman , a junior at Talmudical Academy in Baltimore. He hooped and swooped below the radar of most prep recruiting "experts," but not Maryland assistant coach Billy Hahn .
Hahn saw him play at a summer camp in 1998 and, after consulting with Maryland coach Gary Williams, offered Goodman a scholarship late in December, which Goodman accepted on one condition -- in accordance with his religious beliefs, Goodman won't play from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The Maryland coaching staff was willing to extend the offer, despite non-conference, ACC Tournament and NCAA tournament schedules that regularly have games on Saturdays.
It seems a big concession, giving a full scholarship to a player who may not be able to participate in several key league and postseason games -- the Final Four is on a Saturday, for example. But it's not unprecedented in high-level sports. In 1965, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax sat out a World Series game that fell on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, but still finished with the MVP trophy after the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Minnesota Twins in seven games.
Unconditionally, the Terps are sold on Goodman, who is averaging 34 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals this season and will enroll at Maryland in the fall of 2000. The coaches are even reported to be scheduling around the Jewish Sabbath -- and lobbying the ACC to do the same.
CNN/SI Week at a Glance is released every Tuesday throughout the college basketball season.
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