Macc-ademy to tip off in 2015
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Macc-ademy to tip off in 2015

Maccabi’s Mark Garkawe (left) with new youth league coach, Al Westover.
Maccabi’s Mark Garkawe (left) with new youth league coach, Al Westover.

MACCABI Basketball Club is looking to the future, with the unveiling of a Big V Youth League team for the 2015 season, headed by 2006 NBL coach of the year and four-time NBL winner, Al Westover.

Maccabi outlined its five-year plan in the lead-up to the 2017 Maccabiah Games in a document titled

Maccademy , which detailed plans for a team, comprising the best and brightest Jewish under-23-year-olds in an effort to bridge the gap between the junior and senior clubs.

After a spate of retirements last year, Maccabi is set on rebuilding from the bottom up, with the ambitious youth league program providing incentive for young Jewish ballers to join the club.

Aside from the program’s introduction, the Maccabi men’s senior team, the Warriors, has also pursued a youth policy this season, blooding several rookies, including 16-year-old Josh Garkawe, Jarrod Kieser and Jack Pinkus.

With Westover at the helm, young players will have an exciting chance to learn the game’s fundamentals from an esteemed coach who boasts nearly 30 years of experience at Australasia’s highest levels.

In reaction to the program’s introduction, Maccabi Basketball president, Mark Garkawe said he was “thrilled to appoint a coach of Al’s calibre to head this important program, which will act as a feeder to the men’s team. The youth program is a first for the club, and by developing a sustainable pathway, not only is this great news for current players but also for all Jewish boys wishing to excel in the sport.”

Ex-Melbourne Tigers coach, Westover, was equally enlivened by the project, saying, “I’m excited about coaching for Maccabi with an age group I’m very familiar with from my years with young players. It will be great improving players, working with them, and giving them something to shoot for in the seniors team.”

ADAM BLAU

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