Tom Maayan was told on Monday, following Seton Hall’s 82-66 win over Monmouth, that his sophomore season with the Pirates may have ended.
According to a report from Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times, Maayan may have to leave the basketball program and return to Israel by Jan. 2 to fulfill his military obligation. Maayan’s uncle David Fuchs flew to the United States to inform his nephew of the news he had received. For Maayan, this isn’t the first time he was torn between his country and schools.
Maayan left in March, following the end of Seton Hall’s season in the Big East tournament. In mid-August, Maayan had returned to Seton Hall, after the Israeli Defense Forces granted him a 90-day furlough. Fuchs and former Seton Hall director of basketball operations Stephen Sauers had attempted to get Maayan an exemption from his three-year military commitment.
Maayan was selected to play for Israel’s under-20 national team competing in the European championships in Estonia in July. He earned notice from Arik Shivek, the coach of the Israeli national basketball team, while averaging 10.1 points and 5.6 assists for Israel, which finished 15th.
The performance also seemingly helped Maayan earn an elite athlete exemption by the army, in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, which grants only 12 athletes (in any sport) across three age groups a temporary stay of service. According to Maayan and Fuchs, they received assurances from officials in the Sports Administration that Maayan could return to Seton Hall and finish the year.
“I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t have the permission,” Maayan said.
The NYT reported that Fuch’s believes this is the result of a misunderstanding. This latest struggle between Maayan and the Israel Defense Forces could put an end to his collegiate career.
The 6-foot-2 point guard was averaging 1.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in more than 17 minutes of action a night.