Different teams, same spirit in second annual Glouberman tournament


BP Photo by Honor Fuchs

SOAR: Firehawk Mascot Eli Greenberg shows the meaning of ruach (spirit) even without his bird mask. The Glouberman Tournament included seven new teams this year from Los Angeles to Israel to compete in memory of almuni parent Steve Glouberman. See stories on pages 21 and 22.

The Steve Glouberman Basketball Tournament came back last month, upending the school schedule with four days of basketball, blasting music, broadcasting and ruach (spirit).

Shalhevet’s Lady Firehawks, who won the tournament last year, came in second in the girls’ tournament overall, ultimately losing to Yeshiva High School of Boca Raton, Fla.

The Shalhevet boys’ team came in fifth, upon losing to MTA and Valley Torah, despite going 2-0 on the first day of the tournament. The Frisch Cougars of Paramus, N.J. won the men’s championship. Frisch, which came in fourth last year, beat Salanter-Akiva-Riverdale (SAR) of New York.

Age may have been a factor for Shalhevet. Seven of the 13 players on the Firehawk girls team are underclassmen.

“I think last year [we won] because the players that were getting the most playing time were returning members,” said Lady Firehawks captain Liora Rabizadeh. “We had better chemistry and better experience, and that gave us a little bit of an advantage.”

This year, new players – including star freshmen Maital Hiller and Kiku Shaw — were on the court almost always.

On the Firehawk boys’ team, senior point guard Eytan Rosenman was injured in the second game of the tournament, breaking his clavicle while running for a loose ball when someone on the other team was also running for the ball.

Eytan had surgery on Monday, Nov. 14, after the tournament, and is to be out until mid February.

“It was very hard to not be out there with my team,” Eytan said. “It’s my senior year, my last year to be playing. I’m working to get back.”

In the second year of the tournament – which honors the memory of Steve Glouberman, z”l, father of three Shalhevet alumni and a longtime basketball player himself – venues, teams and new events were added.

Several teams who had played last year did not return. Among the not returning teams was last year’s winner, the Heschel Heat of New York City, which defeated YULA to win the 2015 boys’ championship.  Shalhevet boys took third place last year, defeating Frisch after having lost to YULA in the semifinals.

Teams from Berman of Rockville, Md., De Toledo from West Hills, and Akiva of Southfield, Mich., also did not return, but Frisch came back, along with YULA, SAR, and TABC of Teaneck, N.J. 

The Glouberman tournament isn’t just a fun and competitive way for Jewish boys and girls across the country to bond on the court. It’s also a weekend of building long-lasting friendships with kids we wouldn’t usually see.

— Asher Dauer, 10th Grade

“We tried to find teams that really wanted to come to this tournament and identified with the goals of the tournament,” Reb Weissman said “We found a really good group of teams. We tried to invite the teams that are going to really want to be part of our culture.”

New boys teams came from MTA of New York City, Valley Torah of Valley Village and North Shore Hebrew Academy of Great Neck, N.Y. New girls teams were from High School of Boca Raton, Fla., and North Shore of Great Neck.

In addition, there were both boys and girls teams from the Elitzur Petach-Tikvah club near Tel Aviv.

Once again this year, a majority of games were scheduled on Shalhevet’s Reich Family Basketball Court. But overflow games took place at two new locations – the JEM Center, about three miles away on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, and Pan Pacific Park, near the Grove – instead of the Westside JCC.

Shalhevet’s Nicole Miles and MTA’s Eli Greenberg won the Steve Glouberman awards for their respective genders. This award honors the values and middot that the tournament represents, and is voted on by all the coaches.

The tournament honors the memory of Shalhevet alumni parent Steve Glouberman z”l, who died in 2015 after a long struggle with cancer. His children Leah ‘13, and twins Jeremy and Rachel ’15, all played Firehawk sports, and Mr. Glouberman had played basketball for YULA.

Frisch’s Samuel Fishman and Boca Raton’s Emma Frank won the MVPs in the tournament this year.

“The Glouberman tournament isn’t just a fun and competitive way for Jewish boys and girls across the country to bond on the court,” said sophomore shooting guard and small forward Asher Dauer. “It’s also a weekend of building long-lasting friendships with kids we wouldn’t usually see.”

Again this year, the tournament was organized mostly by Director of Student Life Mrs. Raizie Weissman. Among her responsibilities was arranging housing for 250 players with Shalhevet families.

“It’s such a great time for kids from the East Coast, West Coast, and Israel to come together and bond over basketball,” said Raizie in an interview. “It’s also in memory of Steve Glouberman who was an amazing man, and hopefully this will foster a lot of love for sportsmanship, bonding, and Jewish values.”