College of the Canyons men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher is currently in Israel coaching the USA Youth Men’s Basketball team during the 20th World Maccabiah Games. The following is the first in a series of journal entries from Fisher sharing his thoughts and experiences throughout the trip.
Friday, June 30
I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity, and to be able to work with such a great staff and team of tremendous players from across the United States.
We are up daily at 6 a.m. for morning practices and have had the opportunity to get out on the court five times since arriving in Israel on Sunday, including a scrimmage against the USA U16 junior team.
Today is no different, as we will next be scrimmaging our USA Open team, featuring a roster of players ranging in age from 19 to 35. They are coached by former college and professional basketball player Doug Gottlieb, who currently works as a college basketball analyst for FOX Sports.
Earlier in the week we had the opportunity to take part in the Team USA orientation alongside more than 900 athletes who have traveled to Israel to compete at the 20th World Maccabiah Games. It was amazing to experience! Lots of emotions seeing so many people wearing the letters U-S-A across their chest, and proudly singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Later, we took a team trip to Jerusalem and visited the Western Wall, the remains of the Jewish temple and a holy site, which dates back several thousands of years. These types of experiences together are definitely contributing to a closer team bond.
Up next, we will be spending our first Shabbat together and enjoying a day of rest.
Looking forward to Opening Ceremonies and our first game on July 4.
The World Maccabiah Games are the world’s third largest international sporting event, with over 9,000 total participants representing over 75 nations. Maccabi USA, the games’ host organization, builds Jewish pride through sports, generating the emotional intensity, high ideals, and powerful camaraderie of competition.
The Signal will run these journals courtesy of COC Sports Information.