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Tamir Goodman “Jewish (Michael) Jordan”

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Article from: http://www.jewage.org/wiki/en/Article:Tamir_Goodman_-_Biography

(born January 18, 1982), dubbed by Sports Illustrated magazine as the “Jewish Jordan”, is a retired Orthodox Jewish basketball player.

Goodman grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, in an Orthodox Jewish family with six brothers and two sisters. He began playing basketball at five years of age, but he first garnered national attention as a junior in high school, averaging 35.4 points per game for the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. He earned recognition in Sports Illustrated and was interviewed by ESPN, 60 Minutes and Fox Sports. In 11th grade, he was ranked the 25th-best high school player in the country. He was dubbed the “Jewish Jordan”, nicknamed JJ, a title he said he has been trying to downplay ever since.

Goodman received a scholarship to the University of Maryland, which had one of the top-ranked basketball teams in the country. He said that the news of his plans to go to Maryland attracted over 700 media requests that week. The team’s schedule of practices and games meant having to play on Friday nights and Saturdays, against the rules of Orthodox Judaism, so he declined Maryland’s offer.

Goodman then accepted a scholarship from nearby Towson University. After averaging 6 points, 4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game in his freshman year in 2000–2001, Goodman continued at Towson for his sophomore campaign until December 2001, when he filed a complaint about his coach and left the team.

Goodman then fulfilled a dream of his by moving to Israel and signing a 3-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv on July 22, 2002. To get more playing time, he was loaned to Giv’at Shmuel for the 2002–03 season, but he never got the playing time he expected, failing to meet the high expectations fans had for him. He then played in a lower league for Elitzur Kiryat Ata in the 2003–04 season.

Goodman went on to serve in the Israeli Defense Force, a requirement for all Israeli citizens. He suffered a knee injury that required surgery. After nine months of physical therapy, he went back to Giva’t Shmuel to fulfill his contract for the 2005–06 season. He averaged just under seven minutes a game.

Goodman then dropped down to Liga Leumit to play for Maccabi Shoham. In his first two games, he played more than 20 minutes and scored close to 20 points a game. But in December 2006, Goodman’s left knee gave out again and his doctors ordered him to undergo weeks of physical therapy. He did not get to play again until March 2007. In late 2007, Goodman moved back to Maryland to play for the Maryland Nighthawks of the newly formed Premier Basketball League (the league began play in January 2008). In his first game he broke his finger and that was his last game with the Nighthawks.

In July 2008, Goodman signed with Maccabi Haifa.

On September 16, 2009 Goodman announced at a press conference that he is retiring from playing basketball. He is devoting his time to the Haifa Hoops For Kids program, which raises money to help disadvantaged children in Israel attend basketball games.

Goodman is currently the coach of the boys junior varsity and girls basketball teams at The Agnon School, a Jewish day school in Beachwood, Ohio. He also holds several clinics at the school. He is a speaker at Jewish day schools, around America, motivating Jewish students to try their best to fulfill their dreams, but also remain steadfast to their religion.Goodman is featured in The First Basket, a movie about the significance of Jewish basketball players throughout its history. Goodman is married and the father of four.