Jewish-founded team wins Uruguayan basketball league

May 5, 2016  

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Hebraica Macabi, a basketball team founded by members of Uruguay’s Jewish community, won its second championship in the country’s professional league.

Hebraica beat Defensor Sporting, 97-72, on Tuesday in Montevideo to take the Liga Uruguaya de Basketball title. It had also won the crown in the 2011-12 season. Other national victories include tournaments in 1975, 1977 and 1994.

The club was founded by members of the Uruguayan Jewish community from Macabi Hacoaj and Asociacion Hebraica institutions, which merged in 1963. Hebraica Macabi is affiliated with both the Latin American Maccabi Confederation and the Maccabi World Union.

“Hebraica was a machine and crowned itself as the new king of Uruguayan basketball,” read a news article from the Israelite Central Committee, the country’s Jewish umbrella organization.

Uruguay is home to some 12,000 Jews. In March, the murder of a Jewish official by a convert to Islam in a small Uruguayan town made headlines around the world. The attacker declared he “followed Allah’s order” to stab David Fremd 10 times in the back.

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