Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.

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מועדון כדורסל הפועל ירושלים
Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.
מועדון כדורסל הפועל ירושליםHapoel Jerusalem B.C. logo
Leagues Eurocup
Israel Premier League
Founded 1943
Arena Jerusalem Arena
Arena Capacity 11,600
Location Jerusalem, Israel
Team colors Red, Black, White
President Ori Allon
Head coach Danny Franco
Championships 1 Israeli Championship
1 ULEB Cup
4 Israeli State Cups
3 League Cup
Website hapoel.co.il
Kit body basket in white.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts adidasred.png
Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club (Hebrew: הפועל ירושלים‎) is the premier professional basketball club of the City of Jerusalem and competes in the Eurocup, Israel Premier League, and the Israel State Cup. Hapoel has won several titles including the ULEB Cup in 2004 and Israeli Championships in 2015. In 2013, 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, 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 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 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-times NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire may join Hapoel after his contract with the New York Knicks officially expires at the end of the 2014-15 NBA season.[3][4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

On June 25, 2015, Hapoel has won the Israeli Championship first time in their history, after defeating Hapoel Eilat in the Final.

The 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.

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 Dallas Mavericks (Stoudemire), one of "the world's most powerful sports agents" according to Forbes magazine (Tellem),[7] the CEO of Israel's leading media group (Chomsky), and a retired partner at Goldman Sachs (Wietschner).[8][9] [10][11]

Professional staff[edit]

  • general manager: Guy Harel
  • Head Coach: Danny Franco
  • Assistant Coaches: Matan Harush; Uri Kokia
  • Physiotherapists: Gadi Hadad; 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 will be 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]

Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat
Main article: Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.

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 Israel's largest basketball rivalry to a whole new level.

Malha Arena (1985–2014)[edit]

Main article: Malha Arena

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 (2014–)[edit]

Main article: Jerusalem Arena
The Jerusalem Arena

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 new Jerusalem Arena is less than two kilometers from the team's current 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 Jerusalem Arena project is years in the making. The site was chosen far back, 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]

Gallery of the Arena

Gallery of the Arena Corporate Boxes


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]

Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Age
PF 1 United States Duncan, Josh 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 29 – (1986-05-12)12 May 1986
PF 3 United States Gaffney, Tony 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 31 – (1984-11-14)14 November 1984
PG 4 Bulgaria Rowland, E. J. 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 32 – (1983-05-18)18 May 1983
PG 6 Israel Zuckerman, Yochay 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 20 – (1995-09-18)18 September 1995
PF 8 Israel Eliyahu, Lior 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 30 – (1985-09-09)9 September 1985
SG 10 Israel Halperin, Yotam (C) 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 32 – (1984-01-24)24 January 1984
PG 11 Israel Timor, Bar 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 24 – (1992-02-03)3 February 1992
SF 12 Israel Menco, Rafi 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 21 – (1994-03-05)5 March 1994
SF 15 Venezuela Smith, Donta 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 32 – (1983-11-27)27 November 1983
SG 24 Israel Mayor, Igor 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 22 – (1993-08-15)15 August 1993
C 40 Israel Fischer, D'or 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 34 – (1981-10-12)12 October 1981
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • Israel Matan Harush
  • Israel Alon Akerman

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 17-10-2015

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C D'or Fischer Josh Duncan
PF Lior Eliyahu Tony Gaffney
SF Donta Smith Rafi Menco
SG Yotam Halperin Igor Mayor
PG E.J. Rowland Bar Timor

Squad changes for 2015/2016 season[edit]


Date Position Name From
20 June 2015 Small Forward Israel Rafi Menco Israel Hapoel Gilboa Galil
7 July 2015 Power Forward United States Josh Duncan Germany Brose Baskets
9 July 2015 Shooting Guard Israel Igor Mayor Israel Elitzur Yavne
15 July 2015 Center Israel D'or Fischer Russia Unics Kazan
11 August 2015 Point Guard United States E.J. Rowland Turkey Banvit
2 September 2015 Center United States Yancy Gates Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv


Date Position Name To
1 July 2015 Center United States Joseph Jones Free Agency
1 July 2015 Center Israel Yaniv Green Free Agency
6 July 2015 Shooting guard Israel Adam Ariel Germany Eisbären Bremerhaven
18 July 2015 Point guard Israel Itamar Mor Israel Hapoel Migdal HaEmek
20 July 2015 Power Forward United States Deon Thompson Germany Bayern Munich
23 July 2015 Point Guard United States Tywain McKee France Le Mans
1 August 2015 Power Forward Israel Daniel Gur Arie Israel Ironi Ra'anana
6 August 2015 Point Guard Israel Tom Maayan Israel Bnei Herzliya
31 August 2015 Point Guard United States Derwin Kitchen Free Agency

Notable players[edit]

Notable coaches[edit]


Historical Club Logos and Emblems Since 1943


Total titles: 6


Israeli Championships

  • Winners (1): 2015
  • Runner-up (6): 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007

State Cup

  • Winners (4): 1996, 1997, 2007, 2008
  • Runner-up (7): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2015

League Cup




External links[edit]