Mar 22, 2007 — In an edge-of-your-seat finale to the 16th Annual Red Sarachek High School Basketball Tournament, the Young Israel of Century City Panthers (YICC) clinched their sixth trophy as one of the star players from Chicago’s Ida Crown Jewish Academy Aces barely missed a three-point shot at the buzzer. To view tournament photo gallery click here.
The tournament, which features 18 Jewish high schools from across North America, is named for YU’s celebrated basketball coach, Bernard “Red” Sarachek, who died in 2005. Sarachek coached YU’s basketball team in 1942 and 1943, and from 1945 to 1969. During his career, he amassed more than 200 victories and pioneered strategies and methods that helped shape the modern game of basketball.
“It’s great to be here at YU,” said Myron Escovitz, father of YICC wing, Aaron Escovitz. “The boys meet kids from all of the other schools. They have a great time, but more importantly, they get great experience playing basketball.”
In this year’s five-day long tournament, Ida Crown dominated Columbus Torah Academy (Columbus, OH), Hebrew Academy of Five Towns Rockaway (Cedarhurst, NY), and top-seeded Frisch School (Paramus, NJ). Many excited fans and parents took time off to come to the championship game on YU’s Wilf Campus.
Howard Braun, coach of Chicago’s Ida Crown Jewish Academy, has nothing but praise for the Sarachek Tournament. “I think it’s terrific that YU brings together more than 200 Jewish students for five days to compete against each other,” said Coach Braun. Prior to coming to the tournament, the Ida Crown Aces had won 18 consecutive games in the Chicago Metro Prep Conference.
In addition to the five days of basketball, the tournament gives the players a chance to meet other young Jewish students from across North America and to spend Shabbat together.
This year’s participating schools were the Frisch School (Paramus, NJ); Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School (South River, NJ); Young Israel of Century City (Los Angeles, CA); Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago, IL); Shaarey Zedek (Valley Village, CA); Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (Cedarhurst, NY); Yeshiva University’s Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (MSTA) (New York, NY); Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School (Miami, FL); Yeshivat Rambam (Baltimore, MD); Yeshiva Bnei Akiva Or Chaim (Toronto, Canada); Fuchs Mizrachi (Cleveland, OH); Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (Overland Park, KS); Columbus Torah Academy (Columbus, OH); Cooper Yeshiva High School (Memphis, TN); Stern Hebrew High School (Philadelphia, PA); Hebrew Academy of Montreal (Montreal, Canada); Akiva Hebrew Day School (Southfield, MI); Block Yeshiva High School (St. Louis, MO).