Israeli Basketball Phenom Deni Avdija Heads to NBA

Stand for Israel  |  November 19, 2020

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul v Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - APRIL 05: Deni Avdija, #8 of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv in action during the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 30 game between Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv at Ulker Sports and Event Hall on April 5, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

Each year, many talented and hardworking young men’s lives change when they’re selected in the NBA Draft. This year, an Israeli name popped up on American sports radar. The Jerusalem Post’s Joshua Halickman reports that the Washington Wizards selected Israeli star Deni Avdija ninth overall, meaning Avdija will make the move from the Holy Land to American basketball courts:

In a significant moment for all sports fans in Israel, the Washington Wizards selected 19-year-old Israeli Deni Avdija ninth overall in the 2020 National Basketball Association draft late Wednesday night.

Avdija’s close family and friends – who were at home in Israel due to the virtual nature of the event – jumped up with rousing applause in the early hours of the morning Israel time when the pick was announced.

The Israeli sensation has been featured for Maccabi Tel Aviv for the past number of years and will now be taking his talents to America’s capital city.

In addition to Avdija, Yam Madar was also taken in the draft by the Boston Celtics in the second round with the 47th pick, making it only the second time that two Israelis have selected in the same NBA draft. The last time the feat was accomplished was back in 2006, when Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin were chosen…

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