Today (Tuesday), a historic event will open at the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem, as Israel's women's 3X3 basketball team kicks off their games in the European Championship, which will be held for the first time in Israel when the men's team will play tomorrow.
This is the third appearance of the women's team in the tournament, as they did not manage to advance past the group stage in their two previous appearances. For the men's team, this will be their fourth appearance, with their best result being reaching the quarter-finals. The women's team will open their games today at 12:45 PM ET against the Italian team and at 2:35 PM ET they will go up to play against Germany.
The men's team will play tomorrow at 12:45 PM ET against Austria and at 2:35 PM ET they will meet the Serbs. On Thursday, starting at 2:30 AM ET, the quarter-final and semi-final games will take place, Entry to all games is free.
The coach of the women's team is Liron Cohen, the record holder for points (1,729) and appearances (171) in the Israeli 5x5 basketball team. Cohen played in the team between 2005 and 2015, when in the qualifiers for the European Championship in 2010 she served as the captain of the team and finished as the queen of points and assists in the tournament. To Cohen three state cups in Israel and two championships alongside an impressive career in Europe that included a EuroLeague semi-final and many individual awards.
The 4 players of the team, players in Israeli national team in 5X5, the players are Hadar Hadad, a 24-year-old coordinator who plays for the Herzliya girls in 5X5, The talented player previously won the top five of the season in the national league. Alyssa Baron, the 31-year-old veteran forward, a leading player in the national champion Elitzur Ramla, who signed with Hapoel Lev Jerusalem this summer, scored an average of 11.8 points per game last season.
Drew Edelman, a 28-year-old Jewish American guard who played for the cup holder Maccabi Ashdod, and signed at the end of the season with Maccabi Ramat Gan. She won two gold medals in Maccabiah together with the United States team. The latest to complete the squad is Ofir Kasten, a 23-year-old forward and player from Maccabi Haifa.
Men's team coach - Meir Tapiro
The one who will coach the men's team is the legendary player Meir Tapiro, who still plays basketball for Inter Aaliyah from League A. Tapiro was the king of appearances in the Premier League until Guy Panini broke his record during the past season. Already at the age of 19, he scored a winning basket in the Tel Aviv derby for Hapoel Tel Aviv, and at the age of 24, he became the first Israeli to achieve a triple-double in the European Cup when he did so for Hapoel Jerusalem. He finished four times as the assist king of the Premier League and was named the player of the decade in 2010.
As with the women, the men also have four players: Joaquin Shuchman, a 27-year-old guard, who plays for Hapoel Beer Sheva. He went with the reserve team to the European Championship in 2014, during his military service. He did not inform his commanders about the championship and was sentenced to ten days of imprisonment. Nathaniel Artzi, a 26-year-old small forward who signed at the end of the last season with Hapoel Holon, was an important part of the reserve team winning the silver medal at the European Championship in 2017.
Tomer Assayag is a 24-year-old guard and the son of the 24-year-old comedian Manny Assayag, who plays for Hapoel Afula of the National League. Assayag, who is considered a rising star, scored an average of 12.5 points per game last season. The one who completes the squad is Gil Beni, a 24-year-old center and player for Hapoel Tel Aviv. Together with the reserve team, he won a silver medal at the European Championships in 2017, and the gold one in 2018 where he scored 13 points per game on his way to gold medal.