New York - For Yeshiva University Basketball Coach, It’s All About the Journey
New York - In the middle of his 40th year as the men’s basketball coach at Yeshiva University, Jonathan Halpert, normally quick with a wisecrack, could not joke his way past the truth: his team was playing poorly.
Wearing a yarmulke and dressed in navy warm-up pants he has had for 10 years and a pullover that was twice as old, Halpert sat in front of a large dry-erase board. Blue smears were all that remained of a failed game plan for Yeshiva’s 75-68 loss in December to St. Joseph’s College of Patchogue, N.Y. The Maccabees would have been victorious, Halpert said, had they not missed 10 layups.
“I’ve done a great job this season,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can possibly do. If your team is missing layups, there’s nothing more you can do.”
The challenges of coaching at a university like Yeshiva are nothing new to the 67-year-old Halpert, currently the longest-serving basketball coach in New York City. Yeshiva students attend Judaic and secular courses for up to 12 hours a day, the team practices just four times a week because of the Sabbath, and the Maccabees’ opponents frequently possess more talent and superior training.
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