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June 24, 1988 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-24

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strong, up-tempo game.
"We can run if we have to,"
says Hurshe. "We're very con-
fident of our fast break. With
guys like Hoffman and
Stewart running the break
they get down the floor real

The Maccabi team held its
own on the break against the
quicker, more experienced
Lathrup club. "I had three,
four fellas that could run the
floor with 'em," says Hurshe,
"which I was really happy to
sea"
Hurshe has not worked on
a set, defensive style yet
because he does not want to
throw too many things at his
team at once. "I don't want to
peak right now . . . I want to
peak the second, third game
of the tournament (in
Chicago)," he explains.
"Because that's the whole
idea, to do well in the tourna-
ment. For the last two years,
since I've been doing it, with
each team that's exactly what
we've done. We've kept a low
profile, we've worked hard
when we're together. The kids
have played in their high
school programs in the sum-
mer, too. We've gotten
together once or twice a week
and then we've tried to peak
going into Thronto, Cleveland,
whatever it is."
Hoffman is the team's key
player. An outstanding
member of North Farm-
ington's varsity last season,
Hurshe says that Hoffman's
role is similar to Magic
Johnson's role on the Los
Angeles Lakers.
"Matt does a lot of things
. . . Matt thinks he needs to
score 40 points a game for us,"
says Hurshe. "He really
doesn't. He needs to get dou-
ble figures and make
everybody else a better player,
which he can do real well."
Hurshe describes the
5-foot-9 Hoffman, the son of
assistant Doug Hoffman, as
strong and quick. He says
Hoffman has "real quick,
jerky movements. Very
dececptive, very hard to
guard. Good outside shooter.
Can go left, can go right. Very
good defensive player.
Sometimes I have to hold him
back; he gets too aggressive.
Sees the floor real well. Does
a good job against the press.
Surprisingly enough, he'll get
a rebound every now and
then, a loose one. He'll go up
against a kid four, five inches
taller — just really hustles.
Has a lot of basketball savvy.
That's what you get when
your dad played, and still
plays, and pushed you in the
right direction. You pick up a
little more than other kids."
Hurshe says that Los
Angles, which won the 1986

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Maccabiah championship in
Toronto, should be strong
again, along with cities such
as New York, which sends two
teams, Baltimore,
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and
Detroit's Midwest rival,
Chicago, plus the Israeli na-
tional team.
"We're optimistic that_we'll
be very competitive . . . We set
goals," says Hurshe. "We'd
like to be competitive. We'd
like to behave ourselves and
be gentlemen and play within
the rules. And do a good job
and make the community
proud of us, which I think
we've done the last two years.
It's a nice program. I'm pro-
ud my son's (Joey) in it. I'm
proud I'm coaching."
Hurshe also appreciates the
camraderie generated bet-
ween Detroit's teams. At a
basketball game during the
Cleveland regional games
last year, he recalls, Detroit's
soccer squad came in to lend
support. "They just finished a
game and they came in to root
for us. The softball team came
in to root for us. Some moms
and dads — some moms and
dads that I never even knew
from the whole city — were
there watching the games.
Strangers. It was kinda neat,
everybody pulling for
everybody. And then we
reciprocated. When we're
done playing we went and
watched the softball team or
watched a tennis match."
Hurshe concludes that even
if the team is not leaving the
Midwest this summer, they
should still look at the event
as a cultural experience. "I
tell them that life's full of ex-
periences and they should en-
joy everything. And not just
go down there as basketball
players, but to go down there
as athletes and citizens —
American and Jewish
citizens." 0

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

63

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