Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.

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Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem logo
Leagues Israeli Premier League
FIBA Champions League
Founded 1943; 75 years ago (1943)
History Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.
Arena Pais Arena Jerusalem
Capacity 11,600
Location Jerusalem, Israel
Team colors Red, Black, White
Main sponsor Bank Yahav
President Eyal Chomsky
General manager Guy Harel
Head coach Oded Kattash
Team captain Lior Eliyahu
Championships 2 Israeli Championship
1 EuroCup
4 Israeli State Cups
4 Israeli League Cups
Website hapoel.co.il

Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club (Hebrew: הפועל ירושלים‎), for sponsorships reasons Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, is the premier professional basketball club of the City of Jerusalem and competes in the EuroCup, Israeli Premier League, and the Israeli State Cup. Hapoel has won several titles, including the ULEB Cup (now called EuroCup) in 2004, and the Israeli League championship in 2015, and 2017. In 2013, a new ownership group headed by Ori Allon, took over, and the club has since seen a remarkable advancement and expansion. The team began playing in the Jerusalem Arena in 2014.


Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club was founded in 1935 and incorporated in 1943 in Jerusalem. It 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 (EuroCup), defeating Real Madrid in the final in Charleroi, Belgium.[1] Also in that year, the other major European basketball competition, the EuroLeague, was won by Maccabi Electra 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 Ironi 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.[2]

In April 2014, the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal reported that six-time NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire might join Hapoel after his contract with the New York Knicks officially expired at the end of the 2014–15 NBA season.[3][4] However, Stoudemire signed with the Dallas Mavericks to finish out his original contract that had expired with the Knicks at that time, and then went to the Miami Heat after his deal with the Mavericks expired. Once he decided to retire from the NBA in July 2016, he signed with Hapoel Jerusalem on August 1, 2016.[5]

On June 20, 2014 the club signed coach Danny Franco who led Maccabi Haifa to the 2014 finals against current EuroLeague title-holder Maccabi Tel Aviv. That same day, the club also signed season MVP Donta Smith.[6]

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 came 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 to be ready for the 2014–15 season.[7]

On June 25, 2015, Hapoel won the Israeli Championship for the first time in their history, after defeating Hapoel Eilat in the Final. On June 15, 2017 the club won the Israeli Championship for the second time after winning over Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Final.

Team management[edit]


  • 10% – The Amuta.
  • 90% – An ownership group, headed by majority owner Ori Allon, including Eyal Chomsky, Shalom Menora, David Kleinhandler and Howard Wietschner.

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), an American and Israeli real estate and hi-tech businessman (Menora), the CEO of Israel's leading media group (Chomsky), and a retired partner at Goldman Sachs (Wietschner).[8][9][10][11]


  • General manager: Guy Harel
  • Sporting director: Yotam Halperin
  • Head coach: Oded Kattash
  • Assistant coaches: Jonathan Alon and Ryan Pannone
  • Physiotherapists: Gadi Hadad and Yanai Barak
  • Team doctor: Dr. Jonathan (Jonty) Maresky
  • Orthopedist: Dr. Adi Fridman

Fans and arena[edit]

The Brigade[edit]

Brigade Malcha is the official fanclub for Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. In Malha Arena, the Brigade was located behind the south side basket. At the Jerusalem Arena, the Brigade is located in stands #1 and #12. The Brigade has close connections with the team itself, and is consulted by management on instrumental decisions, such as changing the team logo, and planning events with the community.

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 FOX Tel Aviv. Throughout the years, many games between the two teams became a part of the 'Hall of Fame' of Israeli basketball. The rivalry between the teams is very deep and emotional. Due to its vast size, the Jerusalem Arena has brought Israel's largest basketball 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 was used as Hapoel Jerusalem's home area from 1985 to 2014. It has a seating capacity of 3,000 seats, with 2,540 seats in its lower tier, an additional 460 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 the former head coach of Hapoel Jerusalem, Oded Kattash.

Jerusalem Arena (2014–present)[edit]

Former Mayor of Jerusalem, and Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, proposed the master plan for the arena in 2004, and it took ten years to build. Though the Jerusalem Arena is less than two kilometers from the team's previous home, which was opened in 1985, it is exponentially larger. 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 stadium has twelve corporate boxes, each listed for $100,000 dollars per season. The site was chosen far back, but the building only took place in recent years. With an eye towards what the future might bring, the arena has been built to EuroLeague standards. Playing in the EuroLeague in the next few years, is a goal that the team has publicly set for itself.[12] The Jerusalem Arena was opened in the 2014–15 season.


The team's main corporate sponsor is Bank Yahav. Secondary sponsors include Burgers Bar, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Ein Gedi Mineral Water.[13]

Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Hapoel Jerusalem roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Age
C 0 Australia Lual-Acuil, Jo 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) 24 – (1994-04-26)26 April 1994
F/C 1 United States Stoudemire, Amar'e 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 35 – (1982-11-16)16 November 1982
F 4 United States Johnson, Chris 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 28 – (1990-04-29)29 April 1990
PG 6 Israel Blatt, Tamir 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 21 – (1997-05-04)4 May 1997
F 7 Israel Rejwan, Idan 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 27 – (1991-01-22)22 January 1991
PF 8 Israel Eliyahu, Lior (C) 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 33 – (1985-09-09)9 September 1985
G 11 Israel Timor, Bar 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 26 – (1992-02-03)3 February 1992
PG 12 Israel Ohayon, Yogev 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) 31 – (1987-04-24)24 April 1987
G 14 Dominican Republic Feldeine, James 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 30 – (1988-06-26)26 June 1988
F 17 United States Butler, Da'Sean 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 30 – (1988-01-25)25 January 1988
F/C 22 United States Owens, Josh 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 29 – (1988-12-07)7 December 1988
C 23 Israel Chubrevich, Alex 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in) 32 – (1986-07-23)23 July 1986
F/C 35 United States Thomas, TaShawn (S) 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 25 – (1993-02-27)27 February 1993
G 69 United States Brown, J'Covan 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 28 – (1990-02-14)14 February 1990
PF 87 Israel Levinson, Tomer 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 18 – (2000-05-20)20 May 2000
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
  • Italy Roberto Iezzi

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Updated: October 3, 2018

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Reserve
C Josh Owens Alex Chubrevich Jo Lual-Acuil
PF Lior Eliyahu Amar'e Stoudemire Tomer Levinson TaShawn Thomas Suspended
SF Chris Johnson Da'Sean Butler Idan Rejwan
SG James Feldeine Bar Timor
PG Tamir Blatt J'Covan Brown Yogev Ohayon
  • The “Russian Rule” requires every team to have at least two Israelis on the floor at all times.

Notable players[edit]

Notable coaches[edit]

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier League Pos. Israeli Cup League Cup European competitions
1991–92 1 Super League 5th N/A 3 Korać Cup EF
1992–93 1 Super League 4th Semifinalist
1993–94 1 Super League 3rd Semifinalist 3 Korać Cup PR
1994–95 1 Super League 7th Semifinalist 2 Saporta Cup PR
1995–96 1 Super League 2nd Champions
1996–97 1 Super League 2nd Champions 2 Saporta Cup QF
1997–98 1 Super League 4th Champions 1 Euroleague RS
1998–99 1 Super League 2nd Runner-up 1 Saporta Cup EF
1999–00 1 Super League 7th Runner-up 2 Saporta Cup EF
2000–01 1 Super League 2nd Runner-up 1 Euroleague RS
2001–02 1 Super League 3rd Runner-up 1 Euroleague RS
2002–03 1 Super League 8th Semifinalist 3 EuroCup Challenge GS2
2003–04 1 Super League 5th Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup C
2004–05 1 Super League 5th Eightfinalist 2 ULEB Cup RS
2005–06 1 Super League 2nd Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup SF
2006–07 1 Super League 2nd Champions Third place 2 ULEB Cup QF
2007–08 1 Super League 5th Champions Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup R32
2008–09 1 Super League 4th Semifinalist Champions 3 EuroChallenge RS
2009–10 1 Super League 3rd Eightfinalist Champions 2 Eurocup QF
2010–11 1 Super League 3rd Quarterfinalist Runner-up 2 Eurocup RS
2011–12 1 Super League 6th Eightfinalist Semifinalist 2 Eurocup RS
2012–13 1 Super League 4th Semifinalist Semifinalist 2 Eurocup RS
2013–14 1 Super League 3rd Eightfinalist Runner-up 2 Eurocup QF
2014–15 1 Super League 1st Runner-up Champions 2 Eurocup RS
2015–16 1 Super League 2nd Eightfinalist Quarterfinalist 2 Eurocup R32
2016–17 1 Super League 1st Runner-up Champions 2 EuroCup SF
2017–18 1 Super League 3rd Semifinalist Quarterfinalist 2 EuroCup RS


Historical Club Logos and Emblems Since 1943


Total titles: 11


Israeli Championships

State Cup

  • Winners (4): 1996, 1997, 2007, 2008
  • Runner-up (8): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2015, 2017

League Cup


ULEB Cup (EuroCup)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Schonbrun, Zach (November 19, 2014). "Israeli Military Stalls a College Career". New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Amar'e Stoudemire May Head to Israel After Contract". The Wall Street Journal. April 15, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Berman, Marc (April 14, 2014). "Amar'e may leave Knicks for Jerusalem team after 2015". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Amar'e Stoudemire joins Hapoel Jerusalem!". Hapoel.co.il. August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  6. ^ http://www.jpost.com/Sports/Rebuilding-in-full-swing-at-Hap-Jlem-Franco-Smith-incoming-360228
  7. ^ Sinai, Allon (June 26, 2014). "Hapoel Jerusalem handed Euroleague qualifying berth". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  8. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/pub/c-howard-wietschner/14/583/1b
  9. ^ http://www.eurocupbasketball.com/eurocup/features/club-scene/i/134422/3736/the-club-scene-hapoel-jerusalem-looks-to-bright-future
  10. ^ http://directors.dundb.co.il/Details/Company.aspx?duns=514651152
  11. ^ http://www.amarestoudemire.com/2014/hapoel-jerusalem-looks-bright-future/
  12. ^ Sachs, Frankie (March 21, 2014). "The Club Scene: Hapoel Jerusalem looks to bright future". Eurocup Basketball. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  13. ^ http://www.one.co.il/Article/235302.html

External links[edit]