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.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.
Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.
Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.
Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).
In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.