March 10 was RYNJ Night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. More than 200 RYNJ fans were in attendance for the Nets vs. Pelicans game. However, those fans and the other 15,000 fans at the Barclays Center were more impressed with the RYNJ 8th grade boys basketball team who played a game on the beautiful shiny center stage hardwood court for the halftime show. All 13 members of the team played on the court and dazzled the crowd with great ball skills, outside shooting and drives to the basket. While the full crowd was complimentary of the athleticism, many also noted throughout the arena some incredible sportsmanship, teamwork, and sensitivity displayed. The boys shared the stage so well that every member of the team took a shot in the game and nearly every player scored. It was a great Kiddush Hashem as the boys proudly displayed their kippahs and represented the yeshiva well.
The team was coached on the court by Rabbi Daniel Price, Rabbi David Kaminetsky, Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum, Steve Gutlove, and Brian Gutlove. RYNJ was displayed on the large screen at the Barclay Center and the boys had their names announced on the sound system as well when they scored a basket. The team includes: Avi Wolk, Eitan Warburg, Eitan Pfeiffer, Doni Heideman, Ari Katz, Jacob Blumenthal, Aaron Tuchman, Yoni Rothberg, Yonatan Katz, Efraim Greenberg, Shmuel Gopin, Rafi Press and Yoni Safier. Everyone had a great time as part of an unforgettable experience.
Ten other RYNJ boys had the privilege to be part of the opening game ceremonies as well. They stood on the court as part of the High Five line for player introductions, received hugs from some of the NBA players, and then also stood on center court for the national anthem alongside the players. What a fun night for RYNJ!
By Allan Pfeiffer