April 18, 2024
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April 18, 2024
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The RAIN on Water Event Space Sportstar of the Week: Bennett Burgida

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and The RAIN on Water Event Space would like to recognize 13-year-old Bennett Burgida as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The seventh grader at The Moriah School is known throughout the east coast as one of the best ice hockey players in his age group. He has received recognition as a defender for the NJ Avalanche Bantam team. As a true sportstar, Bennett’s excellence is not limited to the ice. For his bar mitzvah, Bennett hosted his own ice hockey tournament that raised over $25k for Chai Lifeline. He was also the game’s MVP.

Bennett, mazel tov on your recent bar mitzvah and a hearty yasher koach on the incredibly successful hockey tournament. Who is your role model and why?

My role model at a very early age was a very close family friend, Eitan Armon. I was just 2 years old and he was 12 years old at the time and I saw him playing ice hockey and thought he was an NHL player and I knew I wanted to be just like him. I adopted his number and have always played “92” since then.

What is your favorite sport?

Ice hockey is my favorite sport. My mom taught me how to skate at age 2 and then I was exposed to ice hockey shortly thereafter through a family friend, Eitan Armon. Once I started playing, there was no turning back and it has been amazing.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment?

My greatest sports accomplishment has been putting together a wildly successful hockey tournament as a chesed project in honor of my bar mitzvah. We raised over $25,000 for Chai Lifeline, played competitive hockey and had a lot of fun.

What is your earliest sports memory?

My earliest ice hockey memory is when I just started playing hockey at the Englewood Field Club and playing outside in the snow. It was a great feeling.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

My favorite athlete is Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky is a former professional ice hockey player who played for 20 seasons from 1979 to 1999. He has been nicknamed “The Great One” and has been called the “greatest hockey player ever” by sportswriters, players and the NHL itself.

What is your favorite sports memory?

My favorite sports memory was when we were in a tournament and we thought we didn’t make the championship because we tied the game. Our coach came into the locker room after the game and said, “See you tomorrow.” We all went crazy from excitement.

What is your pregame routine?

As a pregame routine, I enjoy listening to music in the locker room to get myself pumped up. Once I get onto the ice I do drills, skating and stopping along the boards in front of our team bench.

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

My favorite thing to do when not playing sports is watching sports, especially hockey and football.

What is your weirdest sports memory?

Not sure if these are the weirdest sports memories, but they were memorable. I got onto the ice ready to skate full force and then fell right down. Not knowing why, I looked at my skates and saw that I had forgotten to remove my blade covers. Another incident was more recent. I was playing ball with friends and I tried to stop running by putting my feet into a hockey stop position—I guess that’s what happens when you spend four days on the ice.

What is the best thing about being a sportstar?

I don’t really consider myself a sportstar; I just love the game and really enjoy playing it.

The RAIN on Water Event Space Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to any Teaneck restaurant of their choice. Please contact RAIN at 201.817.8100 to receive the certificate. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey and RAIN on Water Event Space Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].

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