Hods Hold Court

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Brothers Make NCAA History, Continue Family Basketball Legacy at YU

On January 25, 2017, Jordan, Justin and Tyler Hod became the first trio of siblings ever to appear in the same NCAA Division III college basketball game when they played simultaneously during the Yeshiva University Maccabees’ victorious 73-43 game against Sarah Lawrence College at the Max Stern Athletic Center.

It was only the fourth such occurrence in NCAA history.

“The moment I realized I would be on the court with my brothers at the same time, I couldn’t hide my emotions,” said Tyler, a freshman guard. “I had a bit of a giddy step on the court. It’s a moment that goes well beyond the borders of basketball.”

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(l-r): Tyler, Jordan and Justin Hod

 

The brothers continue a tradition established by their father, Lior ’88YC, and uncle, Ayal ’88SB, who in the mid-1980s, broke YU scoring records as the “Hod Towers”—Lior first, with 1,541 career points, and then Ayal, with 1,807 points. Ayal’s record stood until 2002.

The three brothers represent a long-time Hod athletic tradition, started when their grandparents, Dov and Rivi Hod, moved their family from the working-class city of Holon, Israel, to Atlanta, Georgia. After a business set-back, the Hods returned to Israel, but Lior and Ayal, 15 and 14 years old respectively, remained in Atlanta, working odd jobs and keeping out of the sights of immigration officials—and becoming respectable basketball players. In 1984, Lior was recruited by then-Maccabees Coach Johnny Halpert; a year later, Ayal followed in his footsteps.

Jordan, Justin and Tyler cut their athletic teeth early on, playing basketball and soccer in their hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey, as they grew up and serving as water boys for the YU basketball team. Jordan recalled with fondness how the brothers “played one-on-one-on-one at the halftime of every Macs home game.” Their older sister Samantha, 25, also had a great athletic career at the Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, and today plays in a women’s basketball league.

Last December, Jordan, a senior guard, was chosen as the male student YU athlete of the month. In an interview with a student publication, he said, ““I love being able to prove that Jews are great athletes, and I love the fact that when I step on the court, I represent all the Jewish people.”

Tyler echoed those sentiments: “My parents raised us to have outstanding manners, say please and thank you, and be proud of our Jewish heritage, especially when on the basketball court.”

In a recent radio interview with Nachum Segal on JM in the AM, Lior spoke about the pride he felt as he watched his three sons take the court. “There really is nothing better for my wife Janet and me than to see the fruit of our labor out there succeeding. I’m just thrilled that we get to live our lives through our kids. This is an unbelievable time for us right now.”

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(l-r): Lior, Tyler, Justin, Jordan, Janet and Samantha Hod.

 

The three brothers plan to keep up what Tyler calls the “Hod Legacy” with their own children. “Once a Hod, always a Hod,” said Tyler. “We carry our family legacy with pride; I can’t just break up the tradition my father has started.”

“The Hod family is special in a way that transcends sports,” said Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz ’02SB. “You don’t find people as genuinely caring and giving as this family, and it runs from the parents down to the children.”

The Maccabees (13-9) conclude the regular season with two more home games at the Max Stern Athletic Center: Thursday, February 16, and Saturday, February 18, which is also Senior Night. They then begin the first round of the Skyline Conference Championships on Tuesday, February 21. Learn more at www.yumacs.com.

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