Thursday, December 08, 2022

The Jewish Link and The Humble Toast would like to recognize Dani Eliason as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The Yeshivat Noam fourth grader led his last place team to win the league championship in Camp Regesh, won the All Star award for his team and won the soccer tournament for the division on the same day. When asked about Dani, Camp Regesh counselor Ezra Lebowitz told The Jewish Link, “He is an incredible person. He won the Camper of the Week and his coach told me if he could give him both the sportsmanship award and the All Star award, he would have. He’s the best davener and never says a bad word about anyone. In all honesty, I’ve never seen such a great kid.” Dani’s Little League coach, Jason Demby, added “I had the honor to coach Dani Eliason on the BBO 2/3 Lake Como Pizza Pie-thons and can describe him in two words—total mensch! Dani was one of our top hitters, pitchers and played the key positions of pitcher’s helper and shortstop. Dani had unmatched focus as he prepared his wind up, many times with eyes closed either visualizing each pitch, or praying for a strike, before he delivered one right over the plate. Even more impressive than his skill as one of our top players was his amazing attitude as he approached each game with a smile and always wanted to learn to get better! Dani is not just a Sportstar, but he is truly a star all around and a pleasure!”

Dani, congrats on being recognized as this week’s Sportstar of the Week! Who is your role model and why?

My parents are my role models because they are both amazing athletes who encourage and build up everyone around them. My Abba played on the soccer and tennis team at YU, and my Imma played on the Stern tennis team. My Abba won the scholar athlete award, and my Imma won the MVP.

What is your favorite sport?

Soccer! I love that I can play anywhere at any time. It’s fun to anticipate where the ball will be and I love the feeling of scoring goals!

What is your pregame routine?

First I gel and comb my hair, and then I do some pre-game stretches and exercises.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment?

This summer I was part of a team for leagues that was in last place and we ended up making a comeback and winning in the championships. When I got the final outs to win the game, my friends picked me up in the air and I was just so excited.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

My favorite athlete is Novak Djokovic because he manages to hit with such precision and control. He definitely gets my vote for the GOAT.

What is your favorite sports memory?

My favorite sports memory is playing soccer with my great-grandfather, Dody a”h, across my Granny’s kitchen in South Africa. Even at 92 years old, my Dody was a great athlete.

What is your earliest sports memory?

My earliest sports memory is playing on the kids tennis courts at the U.S. Open with my older brother. I started going to the U.S. Open when I was 3 months old and have gone every year since, except for during Covid.

What is your weirdest sports memory?

Hmmm … It’s a toss up between playing soccer while a deer ran across the field and watching speed walking at the Olympics.

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

I like to do Sudoku, Wordle, play piano and play with my cute new little puppy.

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

Getting to play the sports I love with my friends is definitely the best part.

The Humble Toast Sportstar of the week will receive a $25 gift card to The Humble Toast. Please send nominees for an upcoming The Humble Toast Jewish Link Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].

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