Ometz AZA Takes Third Place in Annual Basketball Tournament

December 19, 2023
Justin Ferstein

Buffalo Grove, Illinois, United States

Class of 2025

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As the clock runs down to zero, Ometz AZA’s Jonah Block scoops the free ball off the ground and fires a pass to teammate aleph and brother Parker Lewis, who steps back and drains the two-ball, putting Ometz up 5-3 against Haganah AZA. As the buzzer goes off, the alephs of Ometz rush the court and join the players as they chant, knowing they just placed at the annual Invite Convention basketball game again.

The Great Midwest Regions sports day is always exciting and jaw-wrenching for the Alephs and BBGs. While the BBGs go face-to-face in a dodgeball tournament, the alephs go up in a highly anticipated basketball tournament. 

Last year, my chapter, Ometz AZA, finished second in the basketball tournament, losing to Haganah AZA in the championship game. However, this year, the Alephs of Ometz were ready to make their revenge tour. The first game was against the neighboring chapter, Shabak AZA, and they were ready to put up a fight. 

Off the bat, Shabak scored in the paint and a two already leading 3-0. However, Ometz never backs down, scoring 4 unanswered points, credited to some sharp shooting by Regional Aleph Godol Jeremy Iskowitz. Shabak wasn’t done yet either, scoring yet another 2 and another point using their young alephs athletic abilities, making the game 7-4 in Shabak’s favor.  Iskowitz then put the team on his back, scoring 5 consecutive points and putting Ometz up 9-7. 

Shabak then unleashed their hidden weapon, new member Ben Simon. With the game now 9-8, Simon gets the ball and scores an open jumper in the paint to tie the game with just nine seconds remaining on the clock. Shabak had possession once again after a foul; they gave it to Simon once again, who hit the fadeaway in field-goal range to win the game for Shabak at the buzzer. As the alephs of Shabak storm the court, the brothers of Ometz get full of disappointment. After Shabak celebrates, the Ometz boys scream, “Good game, Shabak,” and with that, concludes round one of the basketball tournament for Ometz.

Ometz would go on to win the third-place title against Haganah AZA after a buzzer-beater two from Parker Lewis. Shabak would go on to place second place in the championship against Palmach AZA, the chapter from downtown Chicago. 

In the end, the basketball game is full of excitement, laughs, and, most importantly, sportsmanship. The basketball game makes boys true alephs. At the end of each game, “great game” is said, hands are shaken, and you move on and support the teams after you. This year's basketball game was jam-packed and one to remember, and both young and old are always looking forward to next year's competition.

Justin Ferstein is an Aleph living in Chicago, IL and loves his friends.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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