The Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center’s 16U basketball team took home the gold at the JCC Maccabi Games in Fort Lauderdale, FL– the first basketball gold medal for the center in almost a decade.
The JCC Maccabi Games is a six-day event that draws about 2,000 young Jewish Athletes ages 12-16. Competing in the games were delegations from South Africa, Great Britain, Argentina, Israel and Ukraine.
“The JCC Maccabi Games are about more than just sports, they give participants the opportunity to connect to their Jewish roots and meet other young people from around the world,” said Coach Sal Saputo. “Chances like this can be transformative in the lives of young athletes and I was so proud to witness firsthand what will become milestones in the life stories of these amazing young athletes, who now know what perseverance and determination look like.”
The last time the Sid Jacobson JCC won gold in 16U basketball was in 2014.
The JCC sent 24 members to compete in the games, with players from Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Last year, only seven players competed.
The members competed in 14U and 16U baseball as well as its gold-winning 16U basketball team. The teams were coached by Saputo and led by delegation heads Alyson Goodman and Luis Maldonado.
“We are so incredibly proud of our JCC Maccabi Games participants from all over Long Island and Queens who represented all Sid Jacobson JCC has to offer and exemplified the meaning of teamwork and dedication,” Goodman said. “It was so impactful to watch how hard work and commitment of these student-athletes paid off in the best possible way. Seeing their progression throughout the course of the year and then having the opportunity to see it come to fruition with this exciting end result was something that I will never forget – and I know they won’t either.”
The 2024 Maccabi Games are slated to be hosted in Detroit from July 28 – Aug. 2. Another event is also scheduled in 2024 to be hosted in Houston from Aug. 4-9. All games participants are also welcome to join a three-week Israel sports tour from July 3-24.