Club profile: Hapoel Jerusalem

Sep 17, 2014 by Print
Players Hapoel Jerusalem - EC13 (photo Dor Kedmi - Hapoel Jerusalem)
Hapoel JerusalemHapoel Jerusalem enters a new era this season with the opening of its new home court, Pais Arena Jerusalem, and a chance to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague via the qualifying rounds. Jerusalem eyes have been fixed on big things since Dr. Ori Allon headed a new ownership group that took charge last season and pointed the club towards greatness. Last season Hapoel reached the Eurocup quarterfinals and the Israeli semifinals and had hoped for more, but late season injuries ended its chances. Jerusalem has already regrouped and starts anew with Danny Franco as head coach. Though this season will see a state-of-the-art arena open in the Holy City, organized basketball in Jerusalem dates back to before the establishment of Israel. Hapoel was among the first teams when the Israeli League was founded in 1955. The club enjoyed few highlights in the decades that followed, but in the 1990s began a march that turned Jerusalem into the clear No. 2 in Israeli basketball behind Maccabi Tel Aviv. Star guard Adi Gordon led Jerusalem to its first two titles, the 1996 and 1997 Israeli Cups. Jerusalem began making noise in Europe too and an appearance in the 1997 Saporta Cup quarterfinals helped the club reach the Euroleague for the first time. In 1999, Jerusalem beat out Maccabi for first place in the Israeli League regular season, but came up short in the playoff finals. Still the club continued making noise and 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 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. More recently Jerusalem lifted the Israeli Cup again in 2007 and 2008. Hapoel has been to the Israeli playoff semifinals in five of the past six years, but this season the goals are much greater.
Eurocup: Quarterfinalist
Israelian League: Semifinalist

No. Player Country Pos. Height Born More
4 GAFFNEY, TONY USA Forward 2.06 1984 More
5 MAAYAN, TOM Israel Guard 1.88 1993
6 ARIEL, ADAM Israel Guard 1.92 1994
7 KITCHEN, DERWIN USA Guard 1.93 1986 More
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR Israel Forward 2.07 1985
9 JONES, JOSEPH USA Forward 2.06 1986 More
10 HALPERIN, YOTAM Israel Guard 1.96 1984
11 TIMOR, BAR Israel Guard 1.90 1992
12 MENCO, RAFI Israel Forward 1.98 1994 More
13 WRIGHT, BRACEY USA Guard 1.91 1984 More
14 GREEN, YANIV Israel Forward 2.06 1980
15 SMITH, DONTA USA Forward 2.00 1983 More
  Head Coach        
  FRANCO, DANNY Israel     More