Jewish Sports
League organizer Gary Klinger (center) is among those trying to rebound a shot by Scott Kapeller (not pictured).

Featured photo by Ari Klinger

Teams are needed for the 44th season of the B’nai B’rith basketball league.
Only four teams had signed up as of last week.

“It would be great if we could have seven teams in the league like we did last year, but six is actually the perfect number because we have a three-hour block of time for games Sunday mornings,” said league organizer Gary Klinger.

League games are played at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

Regular-season league games will begin Jan. 19 and continue for 10 weeks. Playoffs will be held March 29.

Interested in joining the league? Contact Klinger at gkslurpee@aol.com or (248) 229-1816.

Jewish Sports
Nehemiah Crowder

It will be a learning experience this season for the Frankel Jewish Academy boys basketball team.

With many of the key players from last year’s Catholic League playoffs-qualifying team gone because of graduation and new coach Nehemiah Crowder at the helm, the Jaguars are getting large doses of on-the-job training.

They were 2-2 before the winter break.

“Our players are getting used to their roles, getting to know each other on and off the court, and learning my coaching style,” Crowder said.

And what is that coaching style?

“Having freedom within our system,” Crowder said. “The guys need to run my plays, but they’re basketball players and the game can change at the drop of a dime, so they must be able to adjust.”

Crowder said his players are getting better at making those adjustments.

FJA’s roster includes Caleb Kleinfeldt, Jeremy Jenkins, Merrick Michaelson, A.J. Goodman, Mitch Blackman, Adam Levitt, Ethan Mostyn, Aidin Kleinfeldt, Will Bloomberg, Morgan Reifler, Daniel Klausner, Raphy Ifraimov, Brandon Gladstone and Charlie Tobias.

Crowder was a member of the 2009 state champion Melvindale Academy for Business and Technology basketball team in high school and he played college and semi-pro basketball before getting into coaching.

He was an assistant coach for the Amherst (Pa.) College women’s basketball team last year.

Jewish Sports
Ian Kinsler

Former Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler announced his retirement as a player Dec. 20.

Kinsler, 37, was with the Tigers from 2014-17 after being traded from the Texas Rangers for Prince Fielder in November 2013.

He was traded by the Tigers to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Troy Montgomery and pitcher Wilkel Hernandez in December 2017.

A four-time All-Star and two-time Golden Glove winner during his 14-year Major League career, Kinsler was a member of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

He finished his career with 257 home runs, 909 RBIs, 243 stolen bases and 1,999 hits.
Kinsler played for the San Diego Padres last season.

His last game was Aug. 12. He was sidelined the rest of the season by a herniated cervical disk. Kinsler told The Athletic the injury played a major role in his decision to retire.

Kinsler is remaining with the Padres as an adviser in the front office.

Jewish Sports
Louis Grodman

Louis Grodman received one of the most prestigious awards presented to a University of Michigan football player.

The fifth-year defensive back from Walled Lake Northern High School earned the Dr. Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award for having the highest grade-point average for a senior.

It wasn’t the first classroom honor received by Grodman since he joined the Wolverines as a preferred walk-on in 2015. He was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team three times (2017-19).

Grodman contributed to Michigan’s special teams this season, making one solo tackle and assisting on two tackles on kickoffs.

He also was named the Scout Team Defensive Player of the Game for his work preparing the Michigan offense for the Wolverines’ game against Notre Dame (Michigan won 45-14 on Oct. 26).

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