OyChicago blog

Who will be the next big Jewish NBA star?

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02/14/2012

Jeremy Fine photo

The NBA is up and running. Omri Casspi is starting, but without very impressive numbers and Jordan Farmar remains a solid backup on the verge of leading a team. Since everything is status quo with our current star NBA players, The Great Rabbino begs to ask the question, “who is next?” (Not a Goldberg reference).

In the college game right now, our upperclassmen and top scorers play for smaller schools. Certainly Zach Rosen and Jake Cohen will have a chance to play overseas, but it is unlikely either will make the NBA. Corbin Moore and Chris Wroblewski have improved, but there chances are even dimmer.

If we look at some of the younger players at top programs, we have a few potentials. Jacob Susskind at Maryland, Danny Rubin at Boston College, and Nate Lubick at Georgetown. As of now, none of them show NBA caliber potential, but should improve at these big time programs. Also, next year Aaron Liberman will join the Northwestern Wildcats. At 6’9 he is a work in progress, but could have some potential if he puts on weight— but again, NBA is very unlikely.

So that means we have to look overseas to Israel— which brings me to Idam Zalmanson. Zalmanson is a 6’9 forward who is only 16 and already playing with the pros. He is not draft eligible until 2017, but with his size could make Zalmanson the next big Jewish star. He was pre-draft already by Maccabi Tel Aviv, so he will get top competition and European recognition.

Of course, there is the outside chance that Jon Scheyer or Sylven Landesberg get it together and make a run at the NBA, but neither has been that NBA impressive in their short time in Israel. Landesberg is averaging 21.8 points per game, but his team has been a big letdown at three and 12.

So watch out for Zalmanson even if it’s a few years down the road. Until then, enjoy the Casspi and Farmar moments.

And Let Us Say...Amen.

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