Orthodox hoop dreams

Tamir Goodman: Teen basketball star heads to Washington suburbs and bigger arenas.

August 17, 1999

BALTIMORE's "Tamir craze" was short-lived -- a little over a year, with crowds cramming gymnasiums to watch 17-year-old basketball sensation Tamir Goodman perform for the Talmudical Academy. Now he is off to the Washington suburbs and a much larger arena at the Takoma Academy.

Tamir will be close to an even bigger arena at the University of Maryland, College Park, where a four-year scholarship awaits in the fall of 2000. His stopover in Takoma Park lets him him hone his talent against more skilled teams.

Tamir Goodman's flash on the court -- he averaged 35 points a game last season -- made him a sports star. What made him a celebrity was his resolve not to let his hoop dreams interfere with his adherence to Orthodox Judaism.

He is off to a non-Jewish school, run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But he won't take Christian-study courses; he'll continue his Jewish studies before classes, and his new team doesn't play games on the Sabbath that Jews and Adventists share.

Tamir Goodman captured public attention because of his athletic skill and his devotion to his faith. Now he'll become the darling of Washington's media elite. What a way to prep for College Park.

We wish him well in his court exploits, but especially in his preparation for life after basketball.

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