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SoCalHoops Maccabi News

SoCal Players Chosen To Jr. National Maccabi Team; Fertig Named Asst. For Men's Team--(Oct. 17, 2000)

We learned tonight that two of the better players from SoCal have been selected to participate on the Junior National Maccabi team, which will compete at next year's Maccabi Games in Israel:

Harrison Schaen (6'-8" So. PF) of Mater Dei,   who is currently ranked as one of the top prospects in the class of 2003, who played for the Orange County team this past summer in Cincinnati, winning a Gold Medal at the American version of the Maccabi  Youth Games, was selected to play on the team.   Chosen with him was his OC Maccabi teammate, Avi Fogel (6'-0" So. SG) from Torrey Pines HS was also selected to the team.  We don't yet know the other team selections, but when we find out, we'll post them up.

And just so everyone understands, there will be two different teams from the US competing in basketball next summer in Israel at the Maccabiah (the games held every year following the Olympics).  The team  which most people think about when they think of international competition is the US Men's team, which at the last games in Israel featured such players at David Blutenthal (6'-8" Jr. PF) from USC (who at the time was a rising senior at Westchester, and many don't realize he gave up the all-important summer recruiting period between his junior and senior years to compete in Israel) and Doug Gottlieb (6'-0" PG), who will be shortly playing professional basketball in the ABA 2000 in Hampton Roads, Virginia, for his coach and father Bob Gottlieb, but who at the time was just between colleges, having attended Notre Dame and before he attended Oklahoma.

Questions have also been asked of us in e-mails about the absence of several other promising players from the Junior National team, guys who have competed nationally on the Maccabi teams for the past four years, winning several gold medals, some as many as four in a row (e.g., guys like David Gale, Will Sheslow, Craig Weinstein, etc.), and the answer is these guys are too old for next year's Junior National team, whose age limit is players no older than 16, and they are also too young for the US Men's team, which again will likely be made up of college players like (again) David Bluthenthal and some very promising players from all over the country, including a couple from Harvard:  Andrew Gellert (6'-2" So. G), and Elliott Prasse-Freeman (6'-3" Fr. G).  And while the team hasn't been picked yet, we'd say that these are three pretty solid players.

The older-aged US Men's "Open" team (which is what the Men's team is really called (as distinguished from the "Junior" men's team) also released some other excellent news this past week, and it was announced that Jack Fertig, the Fresno State Bulldogs' director of basketball operations the past five seasons, has been selected as an assistant for the United States national basketball team for next year's Maccabiah Games. Fertig, who for the last five seasons has been the Director of Basketball Operations at Fresno State, will join head coach Larry Shyatt of Clemson. Also serving as an assistant on the team will be Duquesne assistant David Adelman.

Fertig, who has been an assistant coach at nine different Division I schools, began his career with graduate assistantships at Vermont, Washington State and Oregon, and continued with full-time assistant positions at Robert Morris, Western Carolina and Tennessee. He was named associate head coach at Toledo before moving to USC in the same capacity under coach George Raveling.  In addition to his duties with the basketball teams, Fertig teaches the Theory of Coaching Basketball class, serves on Fresno State's Gender Equity Monitoring Committee, does radio and television work and is highly requested as a speaker.  He has coached or recruited 18 NBA players and has been a member of coaching staffs that have competed in 14 NCAA and NIT tournaments.    Fertig, who has 25 years of collegiate coaching experience, has worked on nine Division I coaching staffs during his career. A 1970 graduate of Upsala College, Fertig has worked in the Western Athletic, Pacific-10, Southeastern, Mid-American, Southern and Yankee conferences during his career.

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