The Jewish Sport Report: What Duke coach Jon Scheyer means to the school’s Jewish community

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Good morning, readers of the Jewish Sport Report!

March really is a sports fan’s dream: pretty much every sport is either in season or in the exciting off-season, and we’ve got March Madness and the World Baseball Classic as added bonuses.

More on these two exciting tournaments below.

Duke coach Jon Scheyer is a source of pride for the school’s Jewish community

Left: Duke University men’s basketball coach Jon Scheyer lights Duke Chabad’s Hanukkah candlesticks in 2022. (Courtesy of Rabbi Nossen Fellig) Right: Scheyer stands with his predecessor, Mike Krzyzewski, at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Courtesy Duke Men’s Basketball Team)

Duke University is ranked No. 5 in March Madness this year and has a serious shot at contending for the NCAA title.

That’s partly thanks to the head coach Jon Scheyer, who in his first season as coach of his alma mater led the Blue Devils to a 26-8 record and became the most successful freshman coach in the school’s history. Duke also just won the ACC tournament.

For the Jewish community on campus, Scheyer, once nicknamed the “Jewish Jordan” as a player, is a source of pride.

“Coach Scheyer is such a role model for me as I am a young Jew myself with burgeoning hopes and dreams in basketball,” he said Dylan Geller, a student manager of the team. “Seeing him succeed at that was definitely a huge inspiration.”

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We spoke to Jewish students, faculty and staff at Duke about their famous head coach.

mid-term report

CAN’T WE? Students at an elite school in Istanbul, Turkey, performed the Nazi salute during a soccer match against Turkey’s only Jewish school this week. Turkish Jewish leaders say they are taking action.

TO EVERYONE. New Ottawa Senator Jacob Chychrun has a very, say, unique diet including raw liver and beef heart. Hey whatever works. In an interview this week, he explained his lifestyle.

RED CARD. The BBC briefly suspended its top football presenter, Gary Lineker, for comparing British immigration policies to the Holocaust. Many of Lineker’s colleagues protested the decision, while others criticized his analogy. More on the drama here.

Some final thoughts on the World Baseball Classic

Garrett Stubbs, Ryan Lavarnway and Noah Mendlinger

Garrett Stubbs, Ryan Lavarnway and Noah Mendlinger played for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic. (decency)

I’m back after an exciting trip to Miami for the World Baseball Classic, where Team Israel competed against some of the world’s best teams.

The results weren’t exactly pretty for Israel – the men in blue and white went 1-3 with two 10-0 losses after the mercy rule with one combined goal. But there were certainly some highlights – of an orthodox phenomenon Jacob Steinmetz brave performance against the Dominican Republic to an impressive win over Nicaragua.

Before we close the book on WBC 2023, here is a full summary of our coverage. As always, thanks for reading.

Israel played a total of six games in Florida: an 11-5 acting loss to the Miami Marlins, a 9-0 acting win to the Washington Nationals, a 3-1 comeback win over Nicaragua, a 10-0 Lost without scoring Puerto Rico, a 10-0 loss to the Dominican Republic (ie the Jacob Steinmetz game) and a 5-1 loss to Venezuela.

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Off the pitch, Israel held a ceremony with the Dominican team to promote friendship between the two countries and emphasize their shared commitment to resisting hate.

We spoke to some Team Israel fans who have traveled to Miami from near and far to cheer on the team. “It’s part of our heritage,” one fan told me.

We provided an in-depth look at Team Israel’s recruitment process and how they assembled the most talented roster Israel has ever had.

And in case you missed it, I hosted a fun event about Jews and baseball with a panel of Jewish baseball experts, reporters, and alumni. You can watch the video here.

Oh, and stay tuned for one last bit of Israel Baseball’s charming Twitter account, which kept the hits coming even as the players hit.

See Jews in sports this weekend


Rowdy Tellez’s The Mexican team has advanced to the WBC Quarterfinals where they meet Puerto Rico tonight at 7:00pm ET on FS1. Over at Spring Training Land, Atlanta Braves Prospect Jared Schuster and Pitcher Baltimore Orioles/Team Israel Dean Kremer are both up the hill for their teams this afternoon.


Jon Scheyers The Duke men’s basketball team meets No. 4 Tennessee in the round of 32 tomorrow at 2:40 p.m. ET on CBS. And Auburn University, led by a Jewish coach Bruce Pearltakes on Houston No. 1 tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. on TBS. Abby Meyers No. 2 Maryland plays its first game against No. 15 Holy Cross this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPNews.

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Aston Martin driver lance walk looks to continue his strong start to the Formula One season at Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at 1pm ET on ESPN.

Enjoy March Madness and see you next week.

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