Name: Nadav Kristal-Tenenbaum
Team: Inter Aliyah Basketball
Originally from: New York, USA
Favourite team: New York Knicks
Basketball idol: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Fun fact: Both of Nadav's parents are from South America, he spent his formative years in New York and now he's serving in the IDF. Talk about a mixture of cultures in one teenager...
''Surprisingly I've only been playing basketball for about 6 years. Since I’ve always been really tall many people thought it was a given that I’d play but I never really liked it until I started growing a fondness for it around the age of 12. It was then that my gym teacher forced me to play on the school team and after that, I was hooked.
''Growing up as a large guy I always loved Shaq and other classic big men, especially Kareem Abdul Jabbar and I even wore the number 33 because of him. Later, as I found myself not always as the tallest guy in the team, I really appreciate versatile bigs like Kevin Love and Draymond Green and appreciate how they affect the game with limited touches and smaller moments, but the idol still remains Kareem.
''Unlike most players on the team, I didn’t really make the decision to come to Israel. Instead, it was my parents who always wanted to live here and for them, their time in NYC was just a transitional period.
''We then moved as a family to Israel and I spent my high school years in North Tel Aviv. Nowadays, I am serving in the IDF but I'm still able to play for Inter Aliyah each week. After my military service, I hope to study film and be a filmmaker one day.
''I heard about Inter Aliyah from our coach AJ Mitnick, who was an assistant coach on a Maccabi Tel Aviv youth team that I played on. Although I had actually quit playing ball my senior year of high school and was ready to play football instead, AJ still offered me a spot and after a bit of convincing, he got me on board.
''Honestly, I’m really glad he did. Not only am I enjoying the culture Inter has set up with the right mix of guys from all over who share the same passion and love for the game.
''Yet, it's also that feeling of being in a place (Israel) you don’t fully belong in and the connection creates a special bond not just between the players but even between the coaches and management and that’s something you just don't get anywhere else.