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Basketball has turn into a method for Ofri Naveh to ‘break’ from the disaster in his dwelling of Israel

MORGANTOWN — Within the span of few months, Ofri Naveh has had two totally different worlds turned the other way up.

The WVU males’s basketball ahead is a local of Neot Golan, Israel, which is within the northern a part of the nation close to the borders of each Syria and Jordan.

On Oct. 7, the battle between Hamas and Israel started, with Naveh greater than 6,000 miles away from his household at a significant time of disaster.

“The stuff happening at house is loopy, however I attempt to do what I can from right here to assist my household and my buddies,” Naveh stated Sunday night time, after the Mountaineers held off Bellarmine 62-58. “Basketball, for me, helps me focus. It provides me a break from that.”


Which brings us to the second time Naveh has had the surprising hit him.

He first got here to america this summer time to enroll at WVU after taking part in within the FIBA under-18 European Championships.

That was all arrange by means of the recruiting of WVU assistant coach Da’Sean Butler, who performed a few of his remaining skilled seasons abroad in Israel.

“I noticed him play a few instances,” Naveh stated of Butler. “He was superb.”

Naveh was on a WVU roster, on the time, that appeared to have little room for him so far as taking part in time this season.

“I used to be pondering coming right here that taking part in 5 minutes would have been a blessing,” he admits.

After which the world modified. RaeQuan Battle’s eligibility waiver was denied. Akok Akok went down with a medical difficulty and Kerr Kriisa was suspended for the primary 9 video games of the season.

If Naveh had by no means heard of the American sports activities principle of subsequent man up, nicely, he’s actually residing it in his first yr.

He was thrust into the beginning lineup towards Jacksonville State within the Mountaineers’ third recreation of the season.

His unique expectation of taking part in 5 minutes all of a sudden become taking part in 26 minutes per recreation.

“Being a starter, it’s all about character,” Naveh stated. “You get the chance, you must take it. I hope issues proceed to go nicely.”

Thus far, they’ve for Naveh, who had his greatest recreation of the season towards the Knights, ending with 10 factors and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes of motion.

He was 2 for 3 from 3-point vary and he’s tied with teammate Josiah Harris because the Mountaineers’ second-leading rebounder.

“I wasn’t actually shocked, as a result of I do know I’m good,” Naveh stated. “I do know I’ve been making performs in follow and I’m doing my greatest. I haven’t actually been shocked. I’ve simply been grateful.”

Naveh’s teammates took an on the spot liking to him by means of his work ethic and his capacity to maintain everybody’s spirits up.

“You carry this child over who’s simply 17 or 18 years previous to play at this excessive stage,” WVU ahead Quinn Slazinski stated earlier this season. “For the reason that first day of follow, we knew he was particular. That child involves follow to get higher each single day.

“I used to be speaking to him after the sport and I stated, ‘Hear, if you happen to preserve persevering with to get higher and preserve taking part in onerous, your life goes to be very very enjoyable.’ ”