Bethesda -- The Maryland Nighthawks of the newly formed Premier Basketball League are banking that former Towson University guard Tamir Goodman still has enough cachet to help the fledgling league get off the ground.
At a news conference held at Georgetown Prep yesterday, Nighthawks owner and league chief executive officer Tom Doyle introduced the player dubbed the "Jewish Jordan" by talking about his skills on and off the court.
"This is somebody who epitomizes everything not only this team but this league should be about," Doyle said.
Goodman, 25, is a long way from the player who first appeared on the local sports radar as a junior for Talmudical Academy, where he made headlines as much for his game as for his religious beliefs.
As an Orthodox Jew, he refrained from playing during the Jewish Sabbath, which in part led to his leaving the United States after two seasons at Towson. From there, he bounced around the Israeli pro leagues and said he was resigned to playing out his career there when the opportunity to return to Maryland presented itself.
"I never even considered it because it simply wasn't an option before," Goodman said. "When I read about this league and where they were heading, I was so excited about it that, within a couple of months, I picked up my family and we headed over here."
Doyle said the league had adjusted its schedule to ensure that Goodman would not miss home games. ("It's helpful when you are the league," Doyle quipped.) Goodman, however, would miss some away games.
The Nighthawks, formerly in the American Basketball Association, joined nine out-of-state franchises in forming the PBL. Earlier this year, the team made headlines by signing 7-foot-9 center Sun Ming Ming from China.
Also yesterday, the Nighthawks introduced New York street-ball star Tyron "Alimoe" Evans, whose YouTube clips and performances at famed Rucker Park in Harlem made him a celebrity on the And 1 Mix Tape tour. Evans said he was thrilled to be teamed with Goodman, calling him a pass-first point guard who knows how to get his teammates involved.
"It's going to be a lot of fun this year," Evans said.