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September 03, 2009 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-09-03

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I

Health & Fitness

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After a year of pro hoops in Israel,
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indsay Sklar turned one of the
most difficult decisions of her
life into the best decision of

her life.
After graduating last year from
the University of Michigan, Sklar put
off starting medical school at Wayne
State University for a year to play pro-
fessional basketball in Israel.
And what a year it was. The 5-foot-6
shooting guard was a member of the
Electra Ramat Hasharon team that
won the league championship.
"It was now or never. And it was the
best time to do it," Sklar said about
her decision. "I really needed a break
between my undergraduate studies and
medical school, and it was awesome to
be able to play basketball in Israel"
Sklar said there's no doubt she's
much better prepared mentally for
medical school after taking a year off
from academics. "I needed to take a
step back," the 23-year-old Franklin
resident said.
Sklar was a star basketball player at
Cranbrook-Kingswood High School.
She's still the school's all-time leading
scorer.
She wanted to play for U-M, but she
wasn't recruited by the Wolverines.
Undaunted, she became the first walk-
on to make the U-M team in Cheryl
Burnett's 12 years as coach. She gradu-
ated with a bachelor's degree in biology.
While in Israel last summer, Sklar
was able to arrange a tryout with
Ramat Hasharon and she earned a
spot on the team.
The next hurdle was an easy one.
Only four foreigners are allowed on each
league team, spots normally taken by
Olympians and WNBA players. So Sklar
made aliyah and played as an Israeli.
"It all happened so quickly, and so
last-minute she said. "I never really
pictured myself as being a profes-
sional basketball player, so I didn't
think that was an option after I got
out of college."
Sklar was paid, of course, because
she was a professional, but she didn't
want to say how much because it
wasn't a factor in her decision to play
in Israel.
Coming in mostly off the bench,

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Lindsay Sklar

Sklar was a 3-point specialist. She was
one of the team's top shooters from
long range.
While the basketball experience was
incredible, Sklar said, the experience of
living in Israel among Israelis for nine
months was even more incredible. She
lived with two Israeli teammates.
"We had a lot of free time, so we did
a lot of traveling," she said. "That gave
me a whole different perspective of
the country. I went to places that most
tourists don't go."
Sklar could have gone back to Ramat
Hasharon next season, but she decided
medical school couldn't wait any longer.
"It was very tempting to go back,
believe me she said. "I've always been
passionate about basketball, and I'm
still passionate. I play almost every
day, even if I only have an hour, at
Franklin Athletic Club [in Southfield]."

Ready For Football?
The Jewish Football League, a touch
league for Jewish players age 30 and
older, is gearing up for its fall season.
If you're interested in playing or
sponsoring a team, contact Adam
Ellis at oneadamse@aol.com or (248)
521-7529 by Sept. 7. No experience
is required. New players must pay an
additional fee of between $15 and $20
to cover the cost of a jersey.
Games will be played from 9-10
a.m. Sundays starting Sept. 12 at a
to-be-determined field in Farmington
Hills. The season will run for 10 weeks,
including one week for playoffs and one
week for the championship game.
There were five teams last fall.
League organizers are hoping for six
this fall. Each team has a minimum of
seven players. ❑

Please send sports news to

sports@thejewishnews.com .

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