Club Profile: Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem

Sep 16, 2015 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Club Profile: Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem

Fresh off a historic season, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem hopes to keep its momentum going in the 2015-16 Eurocup. Jerusalem, led by Donta Smith, Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin, won its first-ever Israeli League championship by downing Hapoel Eilat in the finals. The club also reached the Israel Cup final, though it did not get out of the Eurocup Regular Season. Organized basketball in Jerusalem dates back to before the establishment of the State of Israel. Jerusalem was among the first teams when the Israeli League was founded in 1955, but it was not until the 1990s that the club became the clear No. 2 in Israeli basketball behind Maccabi Tel Aviv. Star guard Adi Gordon and forward Billy Thompson led Jerusalem to its first two titles, the 1996 and 1997 Israeli Cups. Jerusalem reached the 1997 Saporta Cup quarterfinals and played the Euroleague for the first time in the 1997-98 season. In 1999, Jerusalem beat out Maccabi for first place in the Israeli League regular season, but came up short in the playoff finals. The club played the original Euroleague season in 2000-01. In 2002, Meir Tapiro helped Jerusalem climb to the Saporta Cup semifinals and two years later, Willie Solomon, Doron Sheffer, Kelly McCarty and Tunji Awojobi led Jerusalem past mighty Real Madrid in the ULEB Cup title game in Charleroi, Belgium, for its first – and to date only – European trophy. Jerusalem reached the ULEB Cup semifinal in 2006 and lifted the Israeli Cup again in 2007 and 2008. The club has been to the Israeli playoff semifinals in six of the past seven years and all its efforts paid off this season with the league title. With a magnificent new arena in the Holy City, its wild fan base and better domestic results than ever, Hapoel could reach high in the 2015-16 Eurocup.

2014-15 Results: Eurocup: Regular Season; Israeli League: Champion; Israeli Cup: finalist