(JTA) — Ryan Turell may be from Los Angeles, but when he returns to New York as a member of an NBA G League team on Feb. 4, the game will represent a homecoming of sorts.
Turell, the former Yeshiva University basketball star who in October became the first known Orthodox player to be drafted into the G League, is returning to New York for the first time this season, as his Motor City Cruise — the Detroit Pistons’ minor league affiliate — take on the Long Island Nets at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The 6-foot-7 forward has drawn a growing crowd of Jewish fans in Detroit as an openly Orthodox player who wears a kippah on the court. But the Feb. 4 game will be the first opportunity for Y.U. fans to see their former star in action since he graduated.
“I don’t think people realize, there’s so many Y.U. fans that have watched Ryan play for four years at Y.U., and now they’re going to have a chance to see him in a G League uniform in New York,” said Simmy Cohen, a Y.U. superfan who works in marketing.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m. Saturday night, an hour after Shabbat will end. That wasn’t always the plan: Brad Turell, Ryan’s father, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the matchup was originally scheduled for 11 a.m. — which would present a challenge for those who do not travel on Shabbat. He and another observant fan both contacted the Nets about the conflict.
“We just told the Nets, hey, by the way, you have Ryan Turell, it’s his return to New York, a lot of Jews from Long Island and the surrounding area would love to attend, if you made the game after sundown,” Brad Turell said.
Within 24 hours, the game was moved to 7 p.m.
“They got it. They understood it, they didn’t question it, they didn’t say there’s red tape,” Brad Turell said.
Brad Turell, a communications executive at a Los Angeles talent agency, said he and his family have been to seven of Ryan’s games in Detroit, plus the three recent matchups in Los Angeles. He said he “wouldn’t miss” the game in New York.
Cohen, who grew up near the Nets arena on Long Island, also said he will be at the Feb. 4 game. He anticipates that quite a few of his fellow Y.U. Maccabees fans will be there, too.
“I’m predicting that it’s going to be really, really wild,” Cohen said. “And it’s interesting, because he’s playing for the road team. A lot of the fans coming to the game are going to be chanting for him, wearing blonde wigs or wearing his shirts, and screaming for one specific opposing player who’s on the bench more than he’s on the floor. And chanting ‘We want Ryan!’ I’m going to be leading that if no one else will.”
Brad Turell said his son’s return to New York could be “emotional and cathartic” for Y.U. fans — and that some singing may even break out in the stands, as is customary at Maccabees games. (Another aspect of the celebration: Feb. 4 is the day after Turell’s 24th birthday.)
The wigs Cohen referenced are just one way Turell fans have shown their support for the golden-haired prospect: There are Turell-branded shirts — including a special one for the Feb. 4 game that is no longer available — plus branded kippahs, sweatshirts and hats for sale on his website.
Special Ryan Turell shirts being made for the 2/4 game, in case you doubted how big that event is gonna be pic.twitter.com/X58U7TvJNx
— jewboy media (@simmy_cohen) January 23, 2023
Cohen, a self-described “extremely online fan of Jews in sports,” said he started following Turell a few years ago, during the Maccabees’ unlikely 50-game winning streak.
“I was really interested in their success and jumped on the bandwagon when they were winning a billion games in a row and having so much success and kind of taking DIII by surprise,” Cohen said. “And how the Jewish community was rallying behind them, I got into that.”
For Brad Turell, Jewish fans’ embrace of his son has been “the most satisfying aspect of this entire journey,” he said.
“They’re proud that this guy — who wears a yarmulke and proudly represents Yeshiva University and the Jewish people — is getting his shot, and that all the hype that surrounded Ryan in college, which was quite phenomenal, was real,” Brad Turell said. “He is good. The fact is, you can’t play in the G League unless you are really good.”
Ryan Turell told JTA at a November game in Detroit that he appreciates all of the Jewish fan support. “Jews love basketball. They really do,” he said. “The Jewish community is incredible, them coming out and cheering me on. It really means the world to me. And it’s special, because it’s bigger than basketball.”
Turell has appeared in 27 of the Cruise’s 30 games between the preseason Showcase Cup and regular season this year, playing off the bench. He’s averaging 14.3 minutes during the regular season (out of 48 in each game), with 4.2 points per game.
Turell’s best performance of the regular season was his first: he scored 21 points in less than 18 minutes on Dec. 27.
“He’s the perfect guy to have this happen to,” Cohen said. “He’s just such a mensch, on and off the court. Cheering on his teammates, helping people up when they fall down, things like that.”
But for Cohen, Turell’s appeal transcends his ability to sink three-pointers.
“He’s always talking about and thanking Hashem [God], and he’s talking about being a Jewish hero and a Jewish role model,” Cohen said.
For fans who can’t make it on Feb. 4, the Cruise will be back in Long Island in March — on Purim. Cohen pointed out that the timing of the game, 11 a.m., may be auspicious for those who observe the holiday.
“After you hear megillah and before you have your seudah [the festive Purim afternoon meal], what else are people doing in that in-between time on Purim?” Cohen said. “It could be something that kind of bridges the gap of the day.”
Brad Turell said the timing of the March 7 game is perfect — perhaps even divine.
“If you didn’t think Hashem was looking down upon this situation and helping this out, you look at that and say [Ryan] is going to be in Long Island at 11 a.m. on Purim day. How does that happen?” he said. “A day when all the kids are off school, where everyone’s in a great mood. This is a great family activity, and it’s an 11 a.m. game. It’s just fantastic.”
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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