Yeshiva University News » 2008 » May » 20

Senior Michael Pollack prepares to shoot a free throw as freshman Zachary Gordon looks on.

May 20, 2008 — Yeshiva University men’s basketball freshman Zachary Gordon and senior Michael Pollack were named to the 2007-08 Jewish Sports Review All-American team for Division II and III programs. Gordon and Pollack were instrumental in leading Yeshiva to an 11-16 season during which the Maccabees advanced to the Skyline Conference Semifinals.

Gordon was named first-team All-American after one of the finest individual seasons in the history of the Yeshiva men’s basketball program. He was previously voted first-team All-Conference by the Skyline Conference, the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year, second-team All-Met, second-team All-ECAC for the Metro Region, the ECAC Metro Rookie of the Year, and All-Region by D3Hoops.com. He averaged 20.2 points per game to lead the Maccabees and finished second in the Skyline Conference in scoring. In addition, Gordon’s 7.5 rebounds per game led the Maccabees and were good for fifth in the Skyline Conference. Gordon also averaged 1.81 blocked shots per game to finish second in the Skyline, and his 51 per cent field goal percentage was the ninth best in the conference.

Gordon earned Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week five times, was named to the PrestoSports/MBWA Honor Roll four times, and was named to the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week twice for his outstanding season that included seven double-doubles, 20 games during which he scored 15 points or more, and 13 games during which he broke the 20-point plateau. He also registered a 31-point performance against Mount Saint Vincent on February 20, and an incredible 41-point effort against SUNY Old Westbury during the Skyline Conference Quarterfinals on February 26 as he led Yeshiva back from a 22-point second half deficit, and the Maccabees won 88-82 in overtime. Gordon finished the season with 525 points, and 195 rebounds putting him on a possible track to earn the rare distinction of a 2,000-point/1,000-rebound career.

Pollack distinguished himself as one of the best two-way players in the Skyline Conference, and was named honorable mention All-American for his efforts. The forward finished second in the Skyline Conference in both assists (4.27 per game), and steals (2.46 per game), and averaged 7.4 points per game. A four-year player, Pollack finished his YU career with more than 400 points, 150 steals, and 200 assists.

The Jewish Sports Review is a bi-monthly guide to the world of Jewish sports that has been in production for more than 10 years. The publication selects annual Jewish college all-American teams in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, and lacrosse.

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May 20, 2008 — The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation honored Yeshiva University with its 2008 Partners for Life Award at the foundation’s annual gala dinner on May 15. The university has facilitated more bone marrow transplants than any other institution via Gift of Life’s campus recruitment program. President Richard M. Joel accepted the award on behalf of YU students.

To date, more than 2,500 YU students have registered, and 23 have already saved lives via their donations. This past year, the YU Student Medical Ethics Society ran two hugely successful drives that registered over 500 people.

“I felt very proud and empowered to know that my team was directly involved with Yeshiva University’s recognition at the Gift of Life dinner,” said Yeshiva College junior Avi Amsalem, whose experience as a donor moved him to take a lead role in organizing the drives on campus. “Attending the dinner enabled us to see that our efforts have impacted not only the YU community, but the greater Jewish community as well.”

The gala is the largest gathering of donors and recipients in the nation. One of the highlights of the evening was the emotional introductions of bone marrow donors to their transplant recipients in front of the audience.

Gift of Life was founded by Jay Feinberg to facilitate bone marrow, blood stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplants for children and adults suffering from life-threatening illnesses globally. Its services include transplant coordination, donor recruitment, patient advocacy and public education. Through targeted recruitment in Jewish communities throughout North America, Gift of Life strives to overcome the loss of bloodlines following the Holocaust, a consequence that has made the search for genetically matched donors particularly difficult for Jewish patients.

“The stories of this year’s three featured bone marrow transplant pairs are a tribute to the strong spirit of chesed [kindness] in the Jewish community,” said Feinberg, whose own life was saved following a bone marrow transplant in 1995. “When total strangers become involved in saving a life, they are following the Talmudic admonition of ‘One who saves a life is as if he saved the entire world.’”

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