Did you know there was basketball at YU before the Maccabees? The earliest formal mention of basketball at Yeshiva College is in the 1931 Masmid, which noted that a team was formed with the approval of “the office and the Student’s Council ,” with L. [Louis] Izenstein as Captain. Izenstein hailed from Springfield, MA, where the game of baseketball was invented at Springfield College in December 1891.  The first Yeshiva College game was played in the RIETS gymnasium where the Yeshiva College team defeated the Teachers Institute team. The sport caught on and the first photograph of the Yeshiva College team and a description of its exploits were featured in the 1934 Masmid. Despite the lack of a coach, the Yeshiva College basketball team had a winning streak in 1933-1934, with eight victories and five defeats.

Masmid 1934

Nameless at the time, in subsequent Masmid yearbooks in the 1930s the basketball team was known as the “Quinhooplets” and the “Blue and White.”

Daniel Lubofsky explored the history of other names of the team, the “Mighty Mites” and the current moniker the “Maccabees” in his article in the Commentator.

You can follow the exploits of today’s YU Maccabees basketball team here.

Posted by Shulamith Z. Berger

 

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