Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C.
|Hapoel Tel Aviv|
|Leagues||Israeli Premier League|
|Arena||Kvuzat Shlomo Arena|
|Location||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Team colors||Red and White
|Head coach||Danny Franco|
|Championships||5 Israeli Championships
4 Israeli State Cups
Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C. (Hebrew: הפועל תל אביב) is an Israeli professional basketball club. Historically the second most successful side in Israeli basketball with five national championships, the club is owned by Hapoel Tel Aviv Supporters Trust. The team currently plays in the Israeli Premier League, the first tier.
- 1 History
- 2 Supporters
- 3 Players
- 4 Season by season
- 5 Managerial history
- 6 Management
- 7 Honours
- 8 Former managers
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The club was founded in 1935, as part of the Tel Aviv branch of the "Hapoel" sports cooperative, the sports department of the Histadrut labor union. The 15 years following the foundation of the Israeli national league in 1954 are still considered as the golden age in the club's history. During that time, it won most of its trophies and rose to become a dominant force in Israeli basketball. However, since then the club has failed to repeat its past success and has been forced to watch as its bitter city rival, Maccabi Tel Aviv, beat them constantly on the race to trophies and European glory.
In 1980 the club inaugurated its home venue of Hapoel Arena at Ussishkin St. in place of the open court that Hapoel had used for home games since 1953. The new arena was named after the adjacent street bearing the name of Menachem Ussishkin, a famous Histadrut leader. The uncomfortable conditions, along with the fact that Hapoel Tel Aviv's fans are considered amongst the most fanatic in Israeli sports, has contributed to the fact Ussishkin was known for an extremely hostile atmosphere for visiting teams.
In 1995 the Histadrut decided to suspend financial support of all its "Hapoel" sports teams, including Hapoel Tel Aviv. The club was sold to a group of private businessmen and from 1998 until 2009 (with a short pause for the 2003-04 season), it was under the ownership of Shaul Eizenberg, an Israeli businessman and former press officer of the Israel Football Association. Except for three years of financial support by Russian multi millionaire Vladimir Gusinsky, the club has since consistently suffered from financial difficulties, mainly due to poor management. The result of this was an immediate deterioration in the club's status and stability, which led to relegation to the second league in 1996-97, 1998–99 and 2005-06. During this period the club also conceded its most humiliating defeat of all times by the hands of no less than local rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv by a staggering 54 points. This was part of a previously unthinkable streak of nine defeats in one season to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
In 2006 Eizenberg decided to stop funding the team and thus the team started the season in the second division. The situation wasn't improved in the coming season, in which the team, built almost entirely of youth players, was relegated to the third division, winning only two games all season.
For years Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv were considered the top two clubs of Israeli basketball. The Local derby matches between the two teams were always considered to be the most prestigious games in Israeli sports, and ones which led to a bitter and hateful atmosphere between fans of both clubs, often resulting in acts of mutual violence and hooliganism. The tension between both clubs reached its peak in the 1980s. During this era they met for several times in the league's play-off finals and state cup finals. Probably the most famous meeting came in the best-of-three League Championship Finals in April, 1985. Behind the outstanding play of Mike Largey, Hapoel Tel Aviv won the first game in convincing fashion, leading by as much as 25 points late in the second half. Largey always played well against Maccabi Tel Aviv, having beaten them five times in the four years that he played for Hapoel Tel Aviv. Prior to his arrival, Hapoel Tel Aviv had not beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv in 17 straight games. Needless to say, the Hapoel Tel Aviv fans were very confident that this was their year to win the League Championship. The second game started with Largey picking up where he left off from the first game. Then towards the beginning of the second half, after play had stopped for a loose ball foul, Maccabi Tel Aviv's Motti Aroesti shoved his hand into the face of Largey. Largey responded immediately and threw Aroesti to the ground. Afterwards, both players were ejected from the game and were automatically suspended from playing in Game 3. Largey was far more valuable to Hapoel Tel Aviv then Aroesti was to Maccabi Tel Aviv and, not surprisingly, Maccabi Tel Aviv went on to win Games 2 and 3. To this day, most Hapoel Tel Aviv fans are convinced that Maccabi Tel Aviv planned this provocation as a way to deal with its nemesis. These matches are still regarded as of the most exciting and attractive in Israeli basketball history.
During the years as Maccabi Tel Aviv strengthened its dominance in Israeli basketball and its status as the almost-eternal champions, "Hapoel" fans accused their rival's management of various wrongful doing, including offering bribes to referees, signing contracts with rival players during the regular season and playoff series, and receiving exaggerated funds from state television for broadcasting rights. These accusations have never been proven true. With the decline of "Hapoel" in recent years the matches between both clubs became somewhat one-sided. This of course only led to the strengthening of hatred and repeated violent acts between the fans.
In a controversial decision, Hapoel Tel Aviv decided to hold its home matches at Yad Eliyahu Arena. With its current 11,000 seats capacity it is recognized for years to be the home of rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv. This decision follows a statement by the club's owner Shaul Eizenberg which stated "Hapoel" must move to a larger arena in order to repeat its past glory days. Also contributed to this decision were a change in policy of local police and municipal authorities. These declared the Ussishkin Arena to be unsafe and declared plans for demolishing it and building a boardwalk in place of the arena. The arena was demolished in 2007, despite a campaign by fans to preserve it.
This move is extremely opposed by the club's fans. After years of blaming the club's owner with its continuing deterioration, this move which is considered by most fans as treason of the club's legacy, caused them to announce they will not support the club in the new arena and under the current owners. The owner in return announced the club's fans to be "Hooligans who oppose progress" and announced the club will now try and seek new fans.
Despite the fact that the team has managed to stay in the Israeli first league, it played the 2006–07 season in the second league due to lack of funds. The lack of funds and managerial disorders, as well as a completely new team based on youth players, led to dismay and the team finished last in the second league and was relegated to the third division at the end of that season.
Hapoel Usishkin Period (2007–2010)
Hapoel Ussishkin, The new fan owned and run team was founded in July 2007 and registered in the Israeli Liga Bet Dan District (5th tier), by supporters of Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C. following the club's relegation to the Israeli 3rd tier, and after years characterized by the lack of financial support by the club's owner Shaul Eizenberg and poor management, which led it to bankruptcy, and finally relegation to the 4th tier, and most notably for the demolition of the historic Ussishkin Arena. The demolition was only made possible after a settlement between city officials and Eizenberg which went ahead and signed the agreement against the will of the majority of supporters and for a small compensation fee. This was the trigger for the foundation of the new club. In December 2009 the original men's senior team announced its disbandment followed by the fans team's trust buying the rights to the Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C. brand thorgh a third party. The name change was approved by the supporter trust in the following months, with the team promotion for the 2010-11 national league season.
Backed with an astronomical budget in 5th-tier terms of over 300,000 NIS. The team finished its first season with a perfect record of 22-0 and had qualified to the 4th division. The club also managed to win another title by taking the Israeli 5th Division Union Cup, also without losing a single game.
This season was also finished with a perfect record, 22-0, and the team qualified to the 3rd division. On Thursday, April 30, 2009, the team won the Israeli 4th and 3rd Division Union Cup, winning over Hapoel Keffar-Sabba in the final game.
Before the 2009-2010 season started, it was decided that Hapoel Ussishkin would not play in the same district as Hapoel Tel Aviv, which plays in the 3rd division as well, thus avoiding an intriguing match-up. The team qualified to Liga Leumit with a perfect record and won the Israeli 4th and 3rd Division Union Cup, winning over Elitzur Kohav-Yair/Keffar-Sabba in the final game.
Ownership and legal status
In June 2007 the new team was founded and registered in the Israeli 5th tier (Dan District). The club is owned and run by a supporters' trust with 1800 registered paying members as of May 2011. The admission fee to the trust is 300 NIS as of May 2011. Besides voting rights in the trust's general assemblies, it also provides a discount prices of club services such as a season ticket. The club is owned and run by a supporters' trust with 1800 registered paying members as of May 2011. The admission fee to the trust is 300 NIS as of September 2010.
The club holds elections for club's board every two years. In the second elections in history on June 11, 549 voters decided to keep four of the current board members in place for another term, while electing as a fifth member Gilad Simchoni, the team's captain in recent years.
Hapoel Tel Aviv (2011–present)
At the end of 2009/10 season, Following the closing of the original Hapoel Tel Aviv club, The rights to the club name were purchased by an anonymous business man, and were given to the Hapoel Ussishkin Management. The Management of Hapoel Ussishkin, following a member wide voting process, decided to rename the club name back to its original name, Hapoel Tel Aviv. In the 2010/11 season, the club reached the semi finals of the state cup, before being knocked off by Elitzur Netanya. The Club Failed to achieve promotion to the first division at the end of the 2010-11 season following a loss in the playoffs finals to B.C. Ha-Bika'a.
In the 2011-12 season the club finally Achieved promotion to the First Division, following a playoff win over Maccabi Beér Yaacov, thefore returning to the top tier after six years, and being the first fan-owned club in Israel to participate in a top tier league.
Hapoel Tel Aviv has become the first fans sports team ever in the Israeli sports generally and basketball particularly, which plays at the Israeli Super League.
In March 2016, NBA star Nate Robinson signed with Hapoel for the remainder of the season. Robinson led Hapoel to the 8 seed and qualification for the Playoffs. On May 19, Robinson scored 46 points in a Quarter-final game against Hapoel Jerusalem. It was the highest points scored in a Playoff game since 1985.
In its first season price ticket was set at 15 NIS. Since the majority of fans ceased to attend the old team's games, the average attendance in Hapoel ussishkin games was about 650, with a season high of 1,200 (full house) in the last game of the season against Hapoel Gan-Shmuel.
In its second season, despite a rise in ticket prices, average attendance rose to 1000.
|Hapoel Tel Aviv roster|
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2|
|C||Matt Howard||Daniel Aidan|
|PF||Tony Gaffney||Tomer Ginat||Gal Shterenberg|
|G/F||Rafi Menco||Noam Hason|
|SG||Raviv Limonad||Adrian Banks||Shahar Amir|
|PG||Jerel McNeal||Tywain McKee||Dor Wachner|
Players of the Year
The HUTA player of the year award is voted for by fans in time for the final home game of the season. Previous winners have been:
- Haim Hazan 13 seasons: '53-'66
- Zvi Lubezki 15 seasons: '56-'71
- Rami Gutt 13 seasons: '59-'72
- Gershon Dekel 14 seasons: '61-'75
- Mark Torenshine 9 seasons: '68-'77
- Barry Leibowitz 11 seasons: '68-'69, '71-'82
- Dave Newmark 2 seasons: '73-'74, '77-'78
- Danny Bracha 11 seasons: '73-'84
- Pinchas Hozez 11 seasons: '74-'85
- John Willis 8 seasons: '76-'82, '84-'85, '86-'87
- Boaz Yanai 1 season: '79-'80
- LaVon Mercer 8 seasons: '80-'88
- Kenny Labanowski 4 seasons: '81-'85
- Amos Frishman 11 seasons: '81-'89, '90-'93
- Mike Largey 4 seasons: '83-'87
- Ofer Fleischer 6 seasons: '84-'87, '93-'95, '98-'99
- Shimon Amsalem 10 seasons: '85-'94, '98-'99
- John Dalzell 2 seasons: '87-'88, '91-'92
- Haim Zlotikman 2 seasons: '87-'88, '92-'93
- Linton Townes 2 seasons: '87-'89
- Howard Lassoff 3 seasons: '87-'90
- Dennis Williams 2 seasons: '88-'90
- Keith Bennett 3 seasons: '88-'91
- James Terry 4 seasons: '88-'89, '90-'91, '94-'96
- Derrick Hamilton 1 season: '89
- Mike Gibson 1 season: '90
- David Henderson 1 season: '90-'91
- Doug Lee 1 season: '91-'92
- Purvis Short 1 season: '91-'92
- David Thirdkill 3 seasons: '91-'94
- Tomer Steinhauer 3 seasons: '91-'94
- Terry Fair 1 season: '92-'93
- Radenko Dobras 3 seasons: '92-'93, '95, '00-'01
- Lior Arditi 2 seasons: '93-'95
- Meir Tapiro 2 seasons: '94-'96
- Buck Johnson 1 season: '94-'95
- Milt Wagner 1 season: '94-'95
- Nenad Marković 1 season: '95-'96
- Gil Mossinson 6 seasons: '95-'98, '02-'03, '04-'06
- Kevin Bradshaw 3 seasons: '96-'99
- Dror Hagag 3 seasons: '01-'04
- Cedric Ceballos 1 season: '02
- Chris King 1 season: '02-'03
- Billy Keys 1 season: '02-'03
- Nikola Bulatović 1 season: '02-'03
- Yaniv Green 2 seasons: '02-'04
- Matan Naor 12 seasons: '02-'04, '07-'17
- Virginijus Praškevičius 1 season: '03-'04
- Jasmin Hukić 1 season: '03-'04
- Michael Wright 1 season: '03-'04
- William Avery 1 season: '04
- Samo Udrih 1 season: '04-'05
- Kenny Williams 1 season: '04-'05
- Marcus Hatten 1 season: '05-'06
- Jeron Roberts 1 season: '05-'06
- Bar Timor 2 seasons: '11-'13
- Curtis Kelly 3 seasons: '11-'13, '15
- Jonathan Skjöldebrand 4 seasons: '11-'15
- Jeff Allen 3 seasons: '12-'13, '15-'16, '17
- Brian Randle 1 season: '13
- Carlon Brown 1 season: '13-'14
- Raviv Limonad 5 seasons: '13-present
- Yancy Gates 1 season: '14-'15
- Durand Scott 1 season: '14-'15
- Tamir Blatt 3 seasons: '14-'17
- Tre Simmons 1 season: '15-'16
- Nate Robinson 1 season: '16
- Richard Howell 1 season: '16-'17
- Mark Lyons 1 season: '16-'17
- Alando Tucker 1 season: '16-'17
Season by season
|Season||Tier||Division||Pos.||State Cup||Other cups||European competitions|
|2002–03||1||Super League||7th||Semifinalist||4 FIBA Champions Cup||
|2003–04||1||Super League||2nd||Semifinalist||3 FIBA Europe League||
|2004–05||1||Super League||2nd||Quarterfinalist||3 FIBA Europe League||
|2005–06||1||Super League||5th||Quarterfinalist||3 FIBA EuroCup||
|2007–08||5||Israeli Liga Bet||1st|
|2008–09||4||Israeli Liga Alef||1st|
|2011–12||2||Liga Leumit||1st||Quarterfinalist||Balkan League||
|vice chairman||Matan Kaplan|
|Board member||Arie Mandel|
|Board member||Yedidya Rapaport|
Total titles: 9
- Winners (5): 1959-60, 1960–61, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1968–69
- Winners (4): 1961-62, 1968–69, 1983–84, 1992–93
- Facts & Figures seats 3,504.
- Aharoni, Keren (2008-11-20). "The Ten Extinct Places of Tel Aviv" (in Hebrew). Mynet. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- Hapoel Tel Aviv BC
- הפועל ת'א הודיעה רשמית על התפרקותה (in Hebrew)
- שינוי שם קבוצת הפועל אוסישקין (in Hebrew)