Real Talk with Hadassah Chen:
Tamir Goodman grew up in Baltimore, Maryland in an Orthodox Jewish family with six brothers and two sisters. He began playing basketball at five years of age, but he first garnered national attention as a junior in high school, averaging 35.4 points per game for the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore.
In 11th grade, he was ranked the 25th-best high school player in the country, and was dubbed the “Jewish Jordan”.
Goodman received a scholarship to the University of Maryland, which had one of the top-ranked basketball teams in the country. The team’s schedule included activities on Friday nights and Shabbos.
Maryland’s coaching staff and Tamir had friction over his refusal to play on the Sabbath, so he declined Maryland’s offer. Goodman then accepted a scholarship from nearby Towson University.
A few years later he fulfilled his dream by moving to Israel and signing a 3-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv on July 22, 2002.
Tamir went on to serve in the Israeli Defense Force, a requirement for all Israeli citizens. He suffered a knee injury that required major surgery. After nine months of intensive physical therapy, he beat the odds and went back to Giva’t Shmuel to fulfill his contract for the 2005–06 season.
Still recovering from his injury, Goodman dropped down to Liga Leumit to play for Maccabi Shoham, but in December 2006, Goodman’s left knee gave out again and his doctors ordered him to undergo weeks of physical therapy.
In July 2008, Goodman signed with Maccabi Haifa. After shattering several bones in his left hand in practice, Goodman was unable to play the remainder of the season.
Two important figures have inspired Tamir and have kept him strong and focused, one was his late father and the other one is the Lubavitch Rebbe whom Tamir met when he received a dollar from him as a child.
Tamir currently runs a world-class summer overnight basketball camp in Jerusalem for players from around the world; leading sports-based programming for trips, schools, and organizations; in-demand Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah clinics featuring special chesed opportunities; and much more.
Tamir has coached over 5,000 kids and has run basketball camps and programs across the U.S. with Israeli NBA player, Omri Casspi. Tamir is also the founder of Zone 190, a training device being used in the NBA, and of Sport Strings Tzitzit.
He is the published author of “The Jewish Jordan’s Triple Threat,” an international motivational speaker, and a sports and business consultant. Tamir holds a B.A. in communications and lives in Jerusalem with his wife and five kids.