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October 18, 2002 - Image 114

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Sports

Hall Of For mers

The Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation names four greats to its hall offarne.

ALAN HITS KY
Associate Editor

lit ich Jordan is still immersed in high school sports,
even though he's a long way and time from the
record-setting performances that gained him entry
into the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Jordan, Marissa Pollick, Billy Berris and the late sportscaster
and author Dick Schaap will be inducted into the MJSHF on
Monday, Nov. 4, at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield.
Plaques in their honor will be hung on the Hall of Fame wall
at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

Richie Jordan

The son of Romanian immigrants,
Jordan grew up in Fennville, south of
Holland, Mich.
He averaged 44.4
points per game
during the 1964-
65 basketball sea-
son, and was a
three-time All-
State selection in
football, rushing
for 5,132 career
yards and averag-
ing 14.5 yards per
carry as a senior.
In baseball, he hit
.550 as a senior;
Richie Jordan
and in track he
was regional
champion in the pole vault, high
jump and long jump three years in a
row.
Jordan went on to play basketball
at Michigan State University and pro-
fessional baseball in the Pittsburgh
Pirates system until an arm injury
forced his retirement. In 2001, he
became the first athlete from
Michigan to be inducted into the
National High School Sports Hall of
Fame.
Now 55, Jordan "has a great life"
in Sarasota, Fla., where he is the for-
mer athletic director and now
strength and conditioning coach for

10/18

2002

114

Cardinal Mooney High School, a
Catholic school. "They know I'm
Jewish," he says.
He is married and the father of
three, including a son who plays
baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers'
organization.
Jordan's grandfather established the
Moskowitz department store in
Fennville and his parents still live in
the family's home there. The family
were the only Jews in the town, and
anti-Semitism was an issue "through-
out my whole high school career.
"There were some problems at
times, but they were wonderful times.
[The anti-Semitism of opposing play-
ers] made me stronger — it gave me
a little edge that I carried."
Jordan stays in touch with some of
his Fennville teammates, and several
told him no one is more deserving of
Jewish Hall of Fame honors because
of the bias. "The community itself is
wonderful," he says. "They treated
me great.

"

Marissa Pollick

Marissa Pollick becomes the second
woman inducted into the Michigan
Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, following
boxing promoter Jackie Kallen.
At Berkley High School, the then-
Huritington Woods resident was a
state finalist on the girl's tennis team,

but also the first female to earn a var-
sity letter on the Berkley boys team.
As a four-year
letter-winner and
two-time co-cap-
tain of the
women's tennis
team, Pollick was
among the first
women to receive
a varsity letter at
the University of
Michigan in
1974. In 1976,
she was among
the first group of
Marissa Pollick
women to receive
athletic scholar-
ships.
In 1999, she was elected the first
female president in the 86-year histo-
ry of the "M" Club, an organization
for U-M varsity letter-winners.
Pollick, 45, continues to play ten-
nis. Her five-woman team finished in
the top 10 nationally in this year's
USA League Tennis championships.
Pollick graduated U-M Law School
in 1981, practiced in Chicago for
three years and then with her father.
Her parents are Sidney and Esther
Pollick of Bloomfield Hills.
She was with Butzel Long for 12
years, including its Ann Arbor office,
and recently opened a private practice
in Ann Arbor. She also dabbles in
sports management with her MWP
Sports Inc.

Billy Berris

Billy Berris is the son of basketball
star Henry "Honey" Berris, a 1990
inductee into the MJSHF. Billy start-
ed playing organized basketball at age
5 at the Jewish Community Center
on Davison at Dexter in Detroit.
The 52-year-old from West
Bloomfield continues a 45-year bas-
ketball career that included his selec-
tion as player-coach of the United
States masters team at the 16th
Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2001.
He earned All-City honors in both

basketball and tennis at Detroit
Mumford High School. He went on
to play basketball at Wayne State
University, averaging 15.2 points a
game and leading the team in assists
until medical problems ended his col-
legiate career.
But he was able to come back for
Maccabiah. He was the team most
valuable player in Israel in 1993;
captain of the gold-medal-winning
team at the Central American
Maccabiah Games in San Paulo,
Brazil, in 1994; co-captain of the
winning team at the Pan American
Maccabiah Games in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, in 1995; and led the team
in assists at the 15th World
Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1997.
He is also active with the North
American JCC Maccabi Youth
Games, the U.S. Committee for
Sports for Israel and the Michigan
Jewish Sports Foundation.
"I'm obviously
overwhelmed,"
says Berris.
"Having a plaque
on the [Hall of
Fame] wall with
my dad is pretty
special to me. If
my father were
around to see this,
it would really
make it special."
Berris says the
highlights of his
Billy Berris
career were play-
ing with his dad
as a child, having 60,000 fans cheer-
ing the U.S. team in Israel and the
general reception the U.S. team
received at the 2001 Maccabiah.
"Everyone was thanking us for hav-
ing the courage to come [during the
Palestinian uprising]. It really had a
profound effect. It put things in per-
spective — how important it was to
Israel that we were there."
Berris has an advertising specialties
business, Promotions Plus, and is a
partner in the training company
Goren and Associates.

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