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MACCABI AUSTRALIA – Josh Giddey headlines Pan Am Games fundraiser

TO support Maccabi Australia’s basketball teams that will travel to Buenos Aires in December to compete at the Maccabi Pan American Games, Maccabi Australia hosted a star-studded evening in Melbourne on June 25, hosted by basketball journalist Tom Hersz, who interviewed 20-year-old NBA star and Australian Boomers player Josh Giddey. Other notable panellists were Josh’s dad Warrick – a former NBL star, Maccabiah Games Australian basketball coach and coach for Australia’s upcoming Pan American Games basketball campaign – and US-based player agent Daniel Moldovan.

Giddey, who often is a guest at Moldovan’s home for Shabbat dinners, made a personal donation to the campaign – as did all the panellists – and said he can’t wait to play for the Boomers in the 2023 FIBA men’s world championships in Japan from late August. “I just want to keep working on my game and keep getting better, to help my teams. “As my dad always says, team goals always come first, so my goals are to help Oklahoma City Thunder win an NBA title, and Australia win a world title and an Olympic Games medal.” Giddey said that, with Warrick as his dad, “basketball was always all around me and I was kind of born into that environment”. “Dad started coaching my first ever team when I was five … and running school holiday camps … and I’ve got so many good memories around it. “But it actually took me four years to make my first [representative junior team] and it was only when I was 17 when I started to really think I could have a career in basketball. “I went to the NBA Academy for 18 months and then signed my first professional contract with [NBL club] Adelaide, but I thought there’s no way I’m going to be there for one year and then be able to go straight into the NBA. “So, obviously things moved a little faster than I thought they would! “But I wouldn’t change anything.” Warrick said all the hard work, individual and team training sessions, that Josh has put in over the years, initially in Melbourne, then Adelaide and now in the NBA, has paid off, “and I couldn’t be prouder of him”. Hersz – who has played in, and coached, Maccabi Australia basketball teams at previous Maccabiah and Pan American Games – thanked the panellists, and said, “Going to the Maccabi Pan American Games is a great experience for every player and team, and it doesn’t happen without the generous support of people like yourselves and the community.” Some tickets are still available online for a giant raffle to support Maccabi Team Australia’s open men’s, open women’s and youth teams to travel to Argentina for the Maccabi Pan American Games. One of the major raffle prizes up for grabs is an exclusive Team Australia Maccabi jersey, especially made for Maccabi Australia and signed by Josh Giddey himself.


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