Chicago Sun-Times
With Sun-Times sports reporter Herb Gould

Illini, Israeli basketball hero Tal Brody to be honored

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

 

            Tal Brody, the point guard on Illinois' 1963 Big Ten championship team who went on to become a sports legend in Israel, will be honored before Illinois' game with Purdue on Wednesday. Brody's No. 12 jersey will be the 33rd honored jersey to be displayed at Assembly Hall.

            ``This honor closes a missing link that I can add in the chain of my basketball career,'' Brody said. ``After my Trenton (N.J.) High School jersey No. 12 and Maccabi Tel-Aviv jersey No. 6 were hung up on the rafters, and now the Fighting Illini No. 12, I have immense feelings of pride that I have made a difference to all three teams that I have played for in my basketball career and the many thousands of fans that enjoyed sharing our success.''

            Despite being the 12th selection by Baltimore in the 1965 NBA draft, Brody decided to accept the request of Israeli government officials, who wanted him to lift the profile of basketball in the Jewish state.

            After leading the U.S. team to a gold medal in the 1965 Maccabia Games, Brody, 69, embarked on a long professional career in Israel. In 1977, he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to its first European Cup championship, a title run that included a celebrated upset of the Soviet Union's Red Army team.

            After that win, Brody said, ``We are on the map. And we are staying on the map--not only in sports, but in everything.'' It was a phrase that has endured,  and continues to inspire, in Israel, where it still is often used.

            In 1979, Brody, who's often referred to as the Mr. Basketball of Israel, received the Israel Prize, the country's highest civilian honor. He is one of 13 international-wing finalists for selection to the Naismith Hall of Fame this year.

            Brody, who averaged 15.1 points a game, ranks 38th among Illinois' all-time leading scorers, with 1,121 points.

 

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/54357

Leave a comment

About the blogger

Herb Gould started with the Sun-Times in 1977 and has covered several teams, including the Blackhawks. He is a long-time beat reporter covering the Fighting Illini and the Big Ten for the Sun-Times.

Pages

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Herb Gould published on February 12, 2013 9:53 AM.

Illini need to make shots to surprise Spartans was the previous entry in this blog.

Gonzales leaves Illinois staff for Mississippi State is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.