Monday, January 6, 2014

Wearing a Yarmulke in the Big Ten

THE YARMULKE DIDN'T HELP NORTHWESTERN'S Aaron Liberman's team against the University of Michigan in yesterday's basketball game, but it did help the Jewish college player make history.

Before Liberman's one minute of play no Big Ten conference player had ever worn a kippah in a game. Yahoo reported the one minute of yarmulke fame by this Yid in a lid:

Kyle Ringo of the Dagger filed the story:

Northwestern forward Aaron Liberman played 1 minute Sunday in a 74-51 loss at Michigan and didn't record a single statistic, but he still made a bit of Big Ten Conference history.

Liberman, a 6-foot-10 freshman walk-on from Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles became the first player in Big Ten history to wear a yarmulke in a game. A yarmulke is a skullcap worn by Orthodox Jews and by other Jewish men during prayer.

Liberman is believed to be the only Orthodox Jew playing major college basketball, but he is not the first player to wear a yarmulke in a Division I game. The other player to do so was former Towson guard Tamir Goodman, who played in 2000 and 2001 and was nicknamed the “Jewish Jordan.”

Liberman observes the sabbath. Part of doing so means he doesn't use electricity from sundown Friday to sundown Saturdays. So on Fridays last season he sometimes walked 8 miles to practices.

Liberman was invited to speak after a home game last month about what it's like for him to be an Orthodox Jew playing major college hoops. The school handed approximately 200 purple yarmulkes with an N printed on them to people who attended.