Aulcie Perry

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Aulcie Perry
PikiWiki Israel 11155 Events in Israel Aulcie Perry.jpg
Personal information
Born (1950-07-03) July 3, 1950 (age 68)
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American / Israeli
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 216 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school West Side (Newark, New Jersey)
College Bethune-Cookman (1971–1973)
Playing career 1974–1985
Position Center
Career history
1974–1975 Virginia Squires
1975–1976 Allentown Jets
1976–1985 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Career highlights and awards
Aulcie Perry (second from right), 1978–1979

Aulcie Perry (Hebrew: אולסי פרי‬) (born July 3, 1950[1]) is a retired American-Israeli professional basketball player. He helped Maccabi Tel Aviv win two EuroLeague championships, during his nine seasons with the team. During his playing career, he was listed at 2.08 m (6'10") tall, and 98 kg (215 lbs.) in weight, and he played at the center position.

In 1987, Perry was convicted of drug-smuggling.

High school[edit]

Perry was born in Newark, New Jersey.[1] He attended Newark's West Side High School, where he played high school basketball.

College career[edit]

Perry graduated from Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, where he played college basketball with the Wildcats.[2][3]

Professional career[edit]


Perry was signed to the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1974. Perry was cut from the team during the 1974–75 season, however, and spent the balance of the season with the Allentown Jets, of the Eastern Professional Basketball League (the predecessor to the Continental Basketball Association (CBA)). The following season, he was signed by the New York Knicks, but he never played for the team. After being released by the Knicks, Perry returned to the Jets.[2]


During the summer of 1976, Perry was spotted by a scout for Maccabi Tel Aviv, while playing at the Rucker courts in Harlem. Maccabi Tel Aviv signed Perry for US$6,000 a month,[4] a small sum by American standards, but at the time, one of the highest salaries in the Israeli Super League, in which Maccabi Tel Aviv competed.[5] The other players on the team responded to his leadership and the team had what Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff described as "the most extraordinary season in its remarkable history"[6] and what Perry called "the best nine months of [his] life".[5] In 1977, Perry helped to lead the team to its first FIBA European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) championship, a prize they took again four years later.[7] Perry played a total of nine seasons with Maccabi Tel Aviv,[8] during which the team won eight Israeli Cups and nine Israeli League championships.[9]

Perry became a celebrity in Israel. He was congratulated by Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin[10] and Menachem Begin,[11] who said he helped bring "honor to the people of Israel".[3] He began dating Israeli model Tami Ben Ami, and the couple were the darlings of the press.[11] Everywhere Perry went, he was besieged by fans seeking his autograph.[12] In Israel, his name became a generic phrase for a tall person;[13] one Israeli might remark to another that her child had grown into a real Aulcie Perry, and a children's song by Arik Einstein included the lyrics "If only I were tall like Aulcie Perry".[14]

After the 1977–78 season, Perry converted to Judaism. He adopted the Hebrew name Elisha ben Avraham (אלישע בן אברהם‬). Shortly thereafter, Perry became an Israeli citizen.[15]

Drug issues[edit]

In December 1982, Perry missed a game against Real Madrid. The team told reporters that he was sick with the flu, but in fact a worsening drug problem had kept him from the game. In March 1983, Perry was arrested and charged with buying heroin; he pleaded guilty and was given a fine of $150,000 and a suspended sentence.[8]

Perry and his cousin, Kenneth Johnson, were detained in September 1985, when they flew from Amsterdam to New York. Johnson was arrested when customs officials found that the portable stereo he was carrying contained 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) of 89 percent pure heroin, with an estimated street value of $1.8 million.[12][16] The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spent the next several months accumulating evidence against Perry, who they suspected was involved with the drug smuggling. In January 1986, a warrant was issued for his arrest. After nine months of fighting extradition, Perry returned to New York for trial.[17]

At the trial, prosecutors portrayed Perry as the mastermind behind the smuggling scheme. Johnson had never been abroad before, but Perry was an experienced traveler. Perry had paid for airline tickets in cash, and he was seen traveling with a bagful of cash. Finally, a flight attendant recognized him from the airplane, where Perry had been holding the portable stereo.[18]

In February 1987, Perry was convicted of conspiracy to import heroin, importation of heroin, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.[16] Two months later, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.[19] He was released in January 1992.[20]

After prison[edit]

After his release from prison, Perry returned to Israel, where he manages a Burger Ranch restaurant.[21] He sponsors a basketball camp for children in Israel.[3] Perry also coaches one of Maccabi Tel Aviv's youth teams.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Aulcie Perry Statistics". Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Wolff, Alexander (2002). Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure. New York: Warner Books. p. 204. ISBN 0-446-67989-5. 
  3. ^ a b c Lommel, Cookie (June 2, 2005). "Hoop Star Scores On and Off Court". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. pp. 204–205. 
  5. ^ a b "Slam Dunking in Israel". Ebony. February 1978. p. 52. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. p. 205. 
  7. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. pp. 205–206. 
  8. ^ a b Wolff. Big Game, Small World. p. 210. 
  9. ^ "Sports Shorts: Aulcie Perry to coach Tel Kabir". Haaretz. October 12, 2005. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Slam Dunking in Israel". Ebony. February 1978. p. 51. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Wolff. Big Game, Small World. p. 206. 
  12. ^ a b Buder, Leonard (November 8, 1986). "Ex-Player in Israel Faces Drug Trial". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Where Are They Now? Aulcie Perry (United States)". December 20, 2007. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ Rosenthal, David (April 20, 2008). כידרורי לשון (in Hebrew). Walla!. Retrieved April 13, 2009. הלוואי שהייתי גבוה כמו אולסי פרי 
  15. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. pp. 207–209. 
  16. ^ a b "Perry Is Convicted". The New York Times. February 24, 1987. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  17. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. pp. 211–212. 
  18. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. pp. 212–213. 
  19. ^ "10-Year Sentence". The New York Times. April 25, 1987. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  20. ^ Wolff. Big Game, Small World. p. 215. 
  21. ^ "Perry Returns to Solace in Israel". Los Angeles Daily News. February 16, 1997. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Basketball as Friendship". New York City Sports Commission. May 25, 2004. Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]