The 43rd season of the B’nai B’rith basketball league has tipped off.
There are six teams in the weekly league this season, down one from last year, “but they’re six solid teams, each with nine or 10 players,” said Gary Klinger, athletic chairman for the B’nai B’rith Great Lakes Region.
Downtown Fox, winner of six straight league championships from 2010-2015, dropped out of the league and so did a Great Lakes Region team. But a third Brotherhood team joined the league to go along with two Great Lakes Region teams and two-time defending league champion Pisgah-Zeiger.
Three league games are being played Sunday mornings at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, the league’s home for several years. After a 10-week regular season, the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs, with semifinals and finals held on the same Sunday.
Pisgah-Zeiger lost in the playoff championship game in its first four years in the league including three straight years to Downtown Fox. Now it has won two league titles in a row.
Downtown Fox was Pisgah-Zeiger’s victim in last year’s playoff championship game. Pisgah-Zeiger won 57-47. Pisgah-Zeiger went 9-1 during the regular season and earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Downtown Fox (7-3) was the No. 2 seed.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league completed the first half of its season and has just begun the second half.
The 18-team league bowls Monday nights at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills.
Aaron Radner, 22, is bowling fulltime in the league for the first time, and the league’s youngest bowler has the highest average, a 224.
He was a substitute the past couple years when he was home on break from at Michigan State University, where he was on MSU’s club bowling team for four years and served as team captain as a junior and senior before he graduated last May with a degree in accounting.
The right-hander’s lone 300 game was bowled during Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson League play March 9, 2015, when he rolled 232-192-300–724 as a sub. He was 20 at the time. He’s believed to be the youngest bowler to roll a 300 game in league history.
It seems every 300 game has a backstory and Radner’s gem certainly does.
He changed bowling balls late in the second game that night and after finishing the game strong, he stuck with the ball for the third game and reeled off 12 straight solid pocket hits.
“I’m really enjoying bowling in the league every week,” he said. “The guys are very friendly, and there are a lot of good bowlers.”
The 224 average is his highest he’s maintained over a long period of time. Before he went to Michigan State, he was an outstanding bowler for North Farmington High School and an Academic All-State selection.
“I can’t tell you specifically why I’m bowling so well in the league,” the Farmington Hills resident said. “Everything is coming together. I do need to point out, though, that we bowled on lanes with tougher conditions when I was on the MSU team.”
Radner is bowling on a newly formed league team called Mix ‘n’ Match. It’s an appropriate name.
His teammates are Bob Breitman, who bowled in the league last year, along with league newcomers Kenny Weiss and Steve Mattler.
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