The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Varsity basketball teams attend tournament in Toronto

Becky Silberman
Varsity basketball teams spend time in Toronto for the Tanenbaum CHAT basketball tournament

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams flew to Toronto, Ontario to visit Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) for the 2024 Israel Becker International Invitational Basketball Tournament, on Sunday, Feb. 23. The tournament hosts basketball teams from Jewish schools all over the world for a friendly competition in memory of Israel Becker, an alumnus of CHAT.

This is the second year that CESJDS varsity basketball teams have attended the tournament, and both teams made it into the playoffs. While both teams ended up losing, the girls team made it to the finals and the boys made it to the semi-finals.

“Of course they were upset when there were some losses because they just want to show off for their team and make a good impression of the JDS community,” athletic trainer Romi Nachman, who attended the tournament, said. “… but I think overall, everyone had a really great time.”

For many of the players, this was one of the last opportunities for them to spend time with their teammates as their senior season came to a close.

“It was pretty sad,” senior and girls varsity basketball captain, Hannah Shank said. “Especially because last year was the first year we went and this was the last year that the seniors can go, so it’d be nice to have more time with the team to really have that experience.”

During their stay, the two teams were welcomed into the homes of host families. The host families consisted of students and families of the TanenbaumCHAT community that generously opened their doors for students of other schools. Girls varsity players had the ability to request who of their teammates they might room with, while boys varsity players were assigned teammates to share a room with, adding another element of surprise to their accommodations.

“They were really nice, I had a great time with them,” sophomore Amalia Netter said. “I built on connections that I made with [my host family] and continue to talk to my host sister every day.”

The teams not only played basketball during their visit but also attended a Toronto Raptors basketball game. The players valued the time they had to bond off the court, especially after working so hard throughout the tournaments.

While the two teams spent much of their time competing in the tournament, they also explored the city. On the third day of their visit, the players went to the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto, where they shopped, ate and got the opportunity to enjoy their time abroad. 

“[Exploring the city] was one of the best parts about being in Toronto,” senior and varsity boys basketball captain Ari Blumenthal said. “…It’s just cool to be in another city and not in the U.S. with the team.”

As their stay came to a close, the teams said goodbye to all of their new friends that they had made during the tournament and headed to the Toronto Airport. While they were a bit sad to leave, the players had a good time at the tournament and hope to return next year with the goal of representing JDS and redeeming themselves. 

“I feel like as a team this season, we got a lot closer, we’ve had a lot of fun,” Shank said. “We’ve really gotten to know each other and I think Toronto is a big part of that.”

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About the Contributor
Sadaf Zadeh, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Sadaf is thrilled to continue her work on the Lion’s Tale as an Arts and Entertainment editor. She is eager to write and edit articles along with designing intriguing spreads. She can’t wait to share the latest on various medias and other creative activity. Outside of her work on the Lions Tale, Sadaf is a president of the Steminism club, is an active part of her team for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and volunteers at the Sunflower Bakery. She looks forward to working alongside her peers to produce engaging content and have another amazing year on staff.  

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