Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.

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הפועל 'מגדל' ירושלים
Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club
הפועל 'מגדל' ירושלים Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club logo
Leagues Eurocup
Israel Super League
Founded 1943
Arena Jerusalem Arena
Location Jerusalem, Israel
Team colors Red, White
President Israel Ori Allon
Head coach Israel Danny Franco
Championships 1 ULEB Cup
4 Israeli State Cups
2 League Cup
Website hapoel.co.il
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

Hapoel 'Migdal' Jerusalem Basketball Club (Hebrew: הפועל 'מגדל' ירושלים‎) is the official professional basketball club of the City of Jerusalem and competes in the Eurocup, Israel Super League, and the Israel State Cup.


Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club was founded in 1943 in Jerusalem, and had its first appearance in the Premier League in 1955. Hapoel played in the first division most of the 1950s and 1960s, with notable players, such as David Kaminsky and Amir Berlinsky. The following two decades had ups and downs, as Hapoel toggled between the first and second divisions.

In 1986, led by coach Simi Riger the team advanced to the Premier League, after five consecutive years in the second division. Since then, Hapoel has remained in the Premier league and became an important factor in the Israeli Basketball.

In 1996 and 1997, Hapoel won the State Cup, defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv in the finals, at the Yad Eliyahu (Nokia) Arena. The team was led by Adi Gordon, widely considered the team's symbol and one of its best players. In 2004, Hapoel Jerusalem won its first European title, the ULEB Cup, defeating Real Madrid in the final in Charleroi, Belgium. Also in that year, the other major European basketball competition, the Euroleague, was won by Maccabi Elektra Tel Aviv making Israel the leading basketball nation in Europe and the Middle East for 2004. In 2005, Israeli-Russian billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak purchased a large stake in the club. As a result, the team got stronger and signed four American players, with an NBA record – Tamar Slay, Horace Jenkins, Roger Mason and Mario Austin. The team also signed Israeli star Meir Tapiro.

In 2007, Hapoel won its third Israel State Cup, defeating Bnei HaSharon 103–85 at Nokia Arena. In early 2008 Hapoel came back from being 22 points down, in the 4th quarter to win its fourth State Cup, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 93–89. In late 2008 Hapoel won its first Israeli Basketball League Cup, beating Urbanos Nahariya 84–69.

In September 2009, oil tycoon Guma Aguiar joined Hapoel Jerusalem as the team's sponsor and helped clear the debts left by Mr. Gaydamak. This ensured Hapoel would be able to compete yet again at the highest levels. On October 8, 2009 Hapoel beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Winner Cup finals 86–80, winning the club's second cup in a row.

One year after the mysterious disappearance of Guma Aguiar, a new ownership group headed by entrepreneur Ori Allon took over, and Guy Harel succeeded Dani Klein as general manager.

On November 19, 2013, the New York Times reported that Tom Maayan, an Israeli player for the Seton Hall Pirates was forced to return to his homeland for army service, the jerusalem Basketball club picked him up, and he now combines his service with playing professional basketball.[1]

In April 2014 the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal reported that six-times NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire may join Hapoel after his contract with the New York Knicks expires in 2015. [2] [3]

On June 20, 2014 the club signed coach Danny Franco who led Maccabi Haifa to to the 2014 finals agains current Euroleague title-holder Maccabi Tel Aviv. That same day, the club also signed season MVP Donta Smith.[4]

On June 25, 2014, the Executive Board of Euroleague Commercial Assets unanimously agreed to hand Hapoel a wild-card to compete for a spot in the Euroleague qualifications. The move comes in light of Hapoel positioning herself as a promising club with a new ownership group with great stability and a brand new 11,600 seat arena expected for the 2014/15 season [5]

The New Hapoel Club[edit]

Corporate Management[edit]


  • 10% - The Amuta.
  • 90% - An ownership group, headed by Ori Allon, including Amar'e Stoudemire, Eyal Chomsky, Arn Tellem, Shalom Menora, and Howard Wietschner.

Board of Directors: Ori Allon is currently president of the board. The board comprises three "Amuta" appointees, and seven members of Allon's group.

Included are:

From the Amuta:

  • Dani Klein.
  • Uri Manzour.
  • Shimon Navon.

From Allon's group:

The new ownership group and corporate management is considered among the most professionally diverse sports ownership groups in the world, as it includes a software developer who sold two software companies to Google and Twitter (Allon), a six time NBA All-Star on the New York Knicks (Stoudemire), one of "the world's most powerful sports agents" according to Forbes Magazine (Tellem),[6] the CEO of Israel's leading media group (Chomsky), a major international investor and developer (Menora),[7] and a retired partner at Goldman Sachs (Wietschner).[8][9] [10][11]

Professional Staff[edit]

  • General Manager: Guy Harel.
  • Head Coach: Danny Franco
  • Assistant Coach: Oren Amiel.
  • Physiotherapists: Gadi Hadad, Yanai Barak.
  • Team Doctor: Dr. Jonathan Mareski.
  • Orthopedist: Dr. Adi Fridman.

Fans and Arena[edit]

The Brigade[edit]

Brigade Malcha is the official fanclub for Hapoel jerusalem B.C.

Rivalry with Maccabi Tel Aviv[edit]

Since the founding of the club in 1943, Hapoel Jerusalem has developed a major rivalry with Tel Aviv's leading basketball club Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. The rivalry between the two largest teams in Israel is also viewed as a rivalry between mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, who attends the vast majority of home games, and Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai. Due to its vast size, the Jerusalem Arena is expected to bring this rivalry to a whole new level.

Malha Arena (1985-2014)[edit]


When Hapoel Jerusalem was founded, it initially played in a small court on Histadrut Street in the city center before moving to the Jerusalem International YMCA arena. In the mid-1950s it moved to the only indoor arena in Jerusalem at that time, "the Straus Arena," in the Histadrut building on Straus Street. Malha Arena has a seating capacity of 2,540 seats in its lower tier, with an additional 300 seats in its upper tier. Despite its small size, the arena traps in noise and distracts the opposing team. This gives a boost to players towards the end of the game when they need it most, according to former coach of Hapoel Jerusalem Oded Kattash.

Jerusalem Arena (opening 2014)[edit]

Jerusalem Arena under construction

Though the new Jerusalem Arena is less than two kilometers from the team’s current home, which was opened in 1985, it is light years ahead. The arena features 11,600 seats, four times as many as in Goldberg Arena, and all the modern amenities expected of a modern basketball venue. The Jerusalem Arena project is years in the making. The site was chosen as far back as 2005, but the building has only taken place in recent years. With an eye towards what the future might bring, the arena is being built to Euroleague standards. And playing in the Euroleague in the next few years is a goal that the team has publicly set for itself.[12][13]


Current sponsors include Migdal Insurance Holdings and Finance Ltd, Migdal capital markets, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Israel Hotels, Ein Gedi, and J.E.C.


Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem B.C. roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Age
PF 4 Israel Eliyahu, Lior 2.07 m (6 ft 9 in) 28 – (1985-09-09)September 9, 1985
PG 5 Israel Maayan, Tom 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 21 – (1993-07-05)July 5, 1993
SF 6 Israel Ariel, Adam 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 19 – (1994-12-10)December 10, 1994
SG 7 United States Kitchen, Derwin 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 28 – (1986-05-14)May 14, 1986
SF 8 United States Dupree, Ronald 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 33 – (1981-01-26)January 26, 1981
PG 10 Israel Halperin, Yotam (C) 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 30 – (1984-01-24)January 24, 1984
PG 11 United States Wright, Bracey 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 30 – (1984-07-01)July 1, 1984
SF 12 Israel Menco, Rafael 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 20 – (1994-03-05)March 5, 1994
SG 13 Israel Coleman, Hanan 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 30 – (1984-03-10)March 10, 1984
C 14 Israel Green, Yaniv 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 33 – (1980-07-16)July 16, 1980
PF 15 United States Duncan, Josh 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 28 – (1986-05-12)May 12, 1986
PF 21 United States Bruesewitz, Michael 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 23 – (1990-08-09)August 9, 1990
SG - Venezuela Smith, Donta 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 30 – (1983-11-27)November 27, 1983
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 2013-12-11

Notable players[edit]

Hapoel Jerusalem at the Israel semi-final game, 2009

Notable coaches[edit]




External links[edit]