July 11, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week Tai Gerszberg

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger would like to recognize Tai Gerszberg as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The 17-year-old is one of the bright stars of the TABC varsity Storm, and will be representing the United States at the Maccabi games in Chile in December. When asked about Gerszberg, Rabbi Josh Kahn (Associate Principal for Judaic Studies at the Torah Academy of Bergen County) told the JLNJ, “Tai is an incredible leader. His positive energy and encouragement that he shares with his teammates, as well as his incredible work ethic enable him to be the kind of leader that his teammates follow. As good of a basketball player as he is, he is an even better person. Tai is a true ba’al chessed who is attuned to the needs of others and always offers a word of encouragement or kindness to each of his peers.”

Gerszberg’s coach at TABC, Mr. Oswald Cross, echoed Rabbi Kahn’s thoughts, “Tai Gerszberg has been a joy to coach. He is a phenomenal ball handler, but what impressed me most about Tai is his leadership and how much he cares for his teammates. I believe he will help us make a deep run this year.”

Tai, I am sure you have had many positive influences in your life. If you had to narrow it down who would you point to as your role models?

Probably my parents…. They’re always there for me. If I had to pick someone to be when I’m older it would be a combination of the two of them. Love you mom and dad!

Who is your favorite athlete to watch?

It’s actually pretty funny, but I don’t follow sports. I looked up to Vince Carter when I was younger because I always wanted to dunk like him, so if I had to pick one person, I would say Vince, but I don’t really have a favorite athlete. I don’t follow the NBA or any other league. I kind of just play the game, not watch it.

Do you have a pregame routine?

Before games I usually listen to music to get me calm and pumped up. I listen to a lot of Eminem, J.Cole, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes. Yes, Shawn Mendes gets me in the zone…. I actually recorded a few songs with a friend of mine so sometimes I listen to them too. Those songs are in a couple of my teammates’ playlists as well, so that’s kind of funny. I don’t have a specific ritual though, I just find ways to make sure I’m in the right mindset before tip-off.

What is your earliest sport memory?

When I was in fourth Grade I challenged a friend of mine, who was the best basketball player I knew, to a one-on-one. I had been practicing hard in the weeks prior and thought if I beat him, I can prove myself as one of the better ball players in the grade. We gathered our friends and started the one-on-one. After about one hour of playing, we called the game. I had lost 102-2 in front of my friends. This may seem like the worst sports memory, and it may well be, but after that loss I really became motivated to play seriously and get better.

Do you have a favorite sports memory?

My favorite sports memory is probably the first time I dunked on a ten foot hoop. I was in TABC after school shooting around and decided to try to go up. I threw the ball up and after it bounced I caught it on the way up and dunked. I landed and I was like “Wait… What? Did anyone see that or did I make that up.” I had a couple of friends in the gym with me that were freaking out, so I guess it really happened!

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing sports?

I love music. I play the piano, guitar and sing. When I get home from school the first thing I do is usually sit and play piano and just jam out.

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

I wouldn’t call myself a Sportstar, but my favorite thing about ball is the friendships and camaraderie. So many of my closest friends are guys I’ve met through basketball, whom I would not have gotten to know if not for the game.

Great job Tai.

The Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week will receive a $10 gift certificate to Gotham Burger. Please send nominees for next week’s Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].

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