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2023 Glouberman Basketball Tournament

Both the boys’ and girls’ Hebrew Academy Varsity Basketball teams felt so fortunate to have been invited to and able to participate in the 9th annual Los Angeles Steve Glouberman Tournament, held by Shalhevet High School, as it was an incredible opportunity and experience for the teams.

The Warriors fought hard against tough opponents while bonding as a team, and the van rides and outings created many strong friendships, further unifying the team and allowing everybody to get to know each other and work better together, both on and off the court.

Departing on Wednesday morning, November 1st, both teams flew into LAX and loaded up the vans for the weekend. Straight from the airport, the girls headed to One80 Pizzeria and Coffee Bean while the boys headed to Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory, satisfying their hunger.

The players were then dropped off at each of their hosts’ houses, having time to shower and prepare for the upcoming first game of the tournament later that night. Although the Lady Warriors were tired from a long travel day, they unleashed all of their energy and secured a win, beating North Shore 49-44. The boys, however, came just short of a win after losing to Ramaz, but put up a strong fight of 59-58. The Warriors then went back to the hosts’ houses to get a good night’s sleep and prepare for the next day’s games.

Thursday morning, the girls’ team played against Frisch. Despite the Lady Warriors strong performance, the Frisch girls’ ultimately beat the Lady Warriors, 54-51. Following that game, the girls made their way to Jeff’s, where they enjoyed a delicious lunch.

The girls then went back to the gym at Pan Pacific to watch the boys play with tremendous effort, but once again they fell short to SAR, losing 57-55.

Later that evening, all 15 tournament teams met at Shalhevet for an annual barbecue, where the student-athletes socialized, listened to speakers, and came together for a meaningful Kumzitiz. After this, the boys’ and girls’ Hebrew Academy teams went out to a delicious and exciting dinner together at Charcoal. Both teams enjoyed the bonding and fun night. Exhausted from the day’s work, the teams went back to their housing assignments for the night.

After all of the teams’ seeds were calculated, the playoffs began on Friday. Our girls’ team played Ramaz but couldn’t secure the win, falling short 51-47. The boys’ team, however, finally played up to their abilities and beat Frisch, 53-46, securing them a spot in the semi-finals. Everyone celebrated their accomplishment and couldn’t have been happier. Throughout the rest of the day, the Warriors watched other games and hung out with each other and kids from the other schools. The girls stopped at Sushiko for lunch and then both teams went home to prepare for Shabbat.

Shabbat was very exciting, as each of the Hebrew Academy teams was hosted by LA families for a generous and delicious dinner. After dinner, all of the participants of the tournament made their way to the Young Israel of Century City (YICC) for a social Shabbat Oneg. Finally, the girls and boys, safely guided by chaperones, headed to their host homes for the night.

Shabbat day began with a beautiful davening at YICC followed by a public discussion about the ongoing Israel war and then lunch. After this, players were free for the rest of the day to socialize and rest for the games taking place Saturday night.

After Shabbat ended, the boys’ semi-finals began, and while the Warriors had the game tied in the fourth quarter, they ended up losing 44-35 to Shalhevet at their home court. Although this took them out of the tournament, all of the students—whether it be players on the boys’ team, girls’ team, parents, or Hebrew Academy seniors who came to support the Warriors—were still very proud of how far the boys came and how well they played throughout the entire tournament. Then the Lady Warriors played their final game against YULA, and although they fell short 42-47, it allowed them to realize their strength as a team, the effort they devoted to playing, and what to fix for the upcoming season back in Miami.

To celebrate the efforts of the Warriors, some team members went to enjoy delicious Froyo. Following this, the Warriors and many other teams went to a fully packed Shalhevet gym to watch the very exciting and nerve-wracking boys’ championship game: Shalhevet vs. Ramaz. After a crazy game, and ultimate defeat by Shalhevet in the last minute, 59-58, everyone headed to their host homes to shower and pack for the return to Miami.

All of the basketball players feel very lucky to have been able to participate in this incredible tournament, and are looking forward to the season ahead. Go Warriors!

By: Tova Bossewitch (10th)

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