Tamir arrived at my house back in the winter of 1999. He arrived in the form of a Sports Illustrated article. Yes, Sports Illustrated the Sports Magazine of choice, in the February 1, 1999 issue. At the time I was a 24 year old accountant while Tamir was reaching for the highest of heights as a high school student about to head to college and then perhaps onto the NBA. What a thrill. His smile was addictive and his aura encapsulating. He was living the dream and not only doing so as just any athlete, but as a Jew, proudly representing an entire faith.
Almost 20 years later, Tamir is still impacting youth through his amazing summer camp. His smile is as addictive as ever and his skills are are still second to none. I had a chance to talk with Tamir as to how he is still influencing the many through his camp which is held in the Holy City, “It’s a unique camp based in Jerusalem with outstanding facilities for both training and accommodations along with fantastic food. The camp combines the highest level of basketball together with the highest level of Jewish values. It’s a small camp in order for us to give the participants the special attention in order for them to reach their potential.”
I only wish that there had been a camp like Tamir’s back when I was a teenager; a place where I could have been able to hone my skills and also be in a Jewish environment, one in which I would have been comfortable in. A summer program that could have paid closer attention to me both as a player and as a Jew especially in the greatest country of them all.
Tamir explained to me why his camp is the place to be from both a basketball perspective and that of being a Jew, “I’ve played at the highest levels, including the Adidas and NBA summer camps and I know all about the basketball side of it, but I was always the only Jew. This camp is special because we help the kids reach for their dreams in a happy and meaningful way and together we connect love for the land of Israel and Jerusalem through the love of basketball.”
Where can I sign up? I wish I could turn back the clock. What an amazing opportunity. It would have been the chance of a lifetime. I would have also been able to train with some of the best of the best from coaches and players as Tamir commented, “Not only am I at the camp full time but we have a very high level of staff which includes two current college players, a top level pro basketball coach from America and special guests on a daily basis which includes current and pro players and coaches, plus the kids get a chance to also train against top Israeli players.”
As a sports fan and athlete for more than 40 years who has gone to over 2,500 sporting events and who also had a chance to see Tamir play professional ball in Israel, I can’t see how there is any other option for this coming summer. There is only one place to be and that is at Tamir Goodman’s Summer Camp!
Article by the Sports Rabbi