College of the Canyons men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher will spend Independence Day coaching the USA Youth Men’s Basketball team during the 20th World Maccabiah Games, taking place July 4-17 in Israel.
The World Maccabiah Games are the world’s third largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 total participants representing over 75 nations.
Maccabi USA, the games’ host organization, builds Jewish pride through sports, generating the emotional intensity, high ideals, and powerful camaraderie of competition. The organization connects athletes, volunteers, and supporters with the global Jewish community. The combined athletic, educational, and cultural experiences build Jewish identity, perpetuate Jewish continuity worldwide, and strengthen support for the State of Israel.
In 2013, at the 19th World Maccabiah Games, the Youth Men’s Basketball won the gold medal.
This year, Fisher and Team USA assistant coach Jeff Klein, who also serves as the men’s basketball head coach at Chaffey College, will lead a roster of 12 athletes from across the country through the Olympic-style international competition.
USA will be joined by Canada, Mexico and Australia in the group round. Also competing at the games are teams from Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and Israel.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 4 with Team USA slated to take on Turkey in a scrimmage later that afternoon. Competition will officially begin on Sunday, July 9.
Fisher and his squad will also have opportunities to explore the sights and scenes of their host country along the way.
“It’s a special time because you’re traveling and spending time with people in close proximity,” said Fisher. “You’re sharing experiences and developing relationships with people that will last a lifetime.”
No stranger to international competition, Fisher served as the head coach of Team USA’s Open Men’s Basketball teams at the 2006 Maccabi Australia International Games and the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games in 2007, winning a bronze and silver medal, respectively.
This year’s World Maccabiah Games will be the first for Fisher, although he helped run team tryouts prior to the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 18th World Maccabiah Games.
“I am honored to have been selected by Maccabi USA as the Youth Men’s Basketball coach for the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Israel,” said Fisher upon the announcement of his selection in May 2016. “My excitement to coach in Israel is fueled by the previous experiences I had and the relationships developed as a basketball coach at the Maccabi Australia International Games in 2006 and the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games in 2007 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.”