Five members of the Beaver community spent part of their winter break in Sao Paulo, Brazil participating in the 12th Pan Am Maccabi Games. Sherry Levin, Steve Schechter, Rob Kotzen ’05, David Price ’14, and Marcia Zimmerman ’15 enjoyed success on the courts and fields as well as having an experience of a lifetime.
Similar to the Olympics, the Maccabi Games is held every four years and focuses on celebrating Jewish traditions and heritage through sports.
Sherry Levin, Beaver’s Athletic Director and head girls’ basketball coach, took on the head coaching role for the United States’ women’s basketball team and brought home the gold medal. The championship game saw the USA take on a talented team from Israel, but the depth and skill of the US team prevailed with a 61-35 victory.
“The experience of competing internationally is one I will always treasure,” said Levin, whose team went 5-0 en route to the gold. “Winning gold was the culmination of our team’s hard work at our three day pre-camp and extraordinary team chemistry. We came from nine different states but played unselfish unified basketball. Sharing the adventure with fellow Jewish athletes from the USA and 1700 athletes from around the world connected us all though our heritage.”
Joining Levin with the women’s team was her daughter Marcia Zimmerman ’15 who served as the team’s manager for the games.
Beaver’s Assistant Athletic Director and head boys’ soccer coach Steve Schechter guided the under-17 junior boys’ team to a silver medal. The team, also led by assistant coach and Beaver alumnus Rob Kotzen ’05, defeated Argentina on penalty kicks to claim the silver medal. David Price ’14 served as the US goalie and made two crucial saves during the shootout to secure the victory.
“Having the opportunity to coach at such a high level in an international competition was a dream come true for me,” said Schechter. “I was thrilled and proud that our boys were able to beat a talented and well-organized Argentinean team en route to a silver medal. Seeing the USA boys charge the field in celebration after Beaver’s own David Price made a game winning save will stay with me forever. I will also cherish the new friendships and memories of our time away from the field in Sao Paulo for the rest of my life. It was truly an honor to represent our country.”
Top Photo: (L) US Women’s Basketball after they won the gold medal; (R) Steve Schechter, Sherry Levin, and Rob Kotzen ’05