Greenman Came Home with Indelible Memories In Helping U.S. to Bronze at Maccabiah Games
Scott Greenman took more than 300 photos detailing his experience playing for the U.S. men's basketball team last month at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel.
While that barrage of pictures will certainly fill several photo albums, it won't be enough to truly capture all the memories Greenman brought home with him.
"It's an experience that you don't have too often; you really remember everything," said Greenman, the senior point guard for the Princeton University men's basketball team. "It was a surreal experience. It was a great time."
On the court, Greenman was the starting point guard and co-captain for the U.S. team which earned a bronze at the competition.
In Greenman's view, he gained some valuable lessons from the quality of the opposition he faced and U.S coach Herb Brown, a longtime NBA assistant.
"It was very competitive," said the scrappy Greenman, a 5'9, 165-pound native of Linwood, N.J.
"France had three or four pro players and the Israel team was all pros. We worked really hard. We worked hard on controlling tempo. Coach Brown has been around so long. It's great to get other points of view. It was a great learning experience. I've always worked out in the summer but I've never played in games like this."
A particularly rewarding aspect of Greenman's stint with the team was the bonds he formed with his teammates.
"We became really close," recalled Greenman, who roomed with Princeton teammate Harrison Schaen.
"We lived in the same hallway in a hotel when we were practicing in Philadelphia before we came over. We ate every meal together. There was real camaraderie between everyone on the team."
Being chosen as one of the team's captains meant a lot to Greenman. "It was special," asserted Greenman, who will be the team captain in the upcoming season for the Tigers. "It means something that the guys thought I was worthy of being captain."
The only down note was the fact that the U.S. failed to get a shot at gold, losing to France in pool play and then falling to Israel in the medal round.
"I'm disappointed we didn't make the gold medal game," acknowledged Greenman, who helped the club beat Australia in the bronze medal game.
"We could've beaten France, we just had an off day. They ended up losing to Israel by 50. We tried to really run past opponents because we felt we were in better shape than the other teams. Still getting a bronze is better than not having a medal."
Off the court, Greenman had a gold medal experience as he soaked up Israeli history and culture in what was his first visit to the country. "Masada was unbelievable," said Greenman, who got exposed to the rustic of side of Israel as the team was housed in a kibbutz outside of Tel Aviv. "The Holocaust museum was touching and sad. The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem was a special stop."
Greenman also got a dose of the tight security that permeates life in Israel.
"You see it's real, there are 18-22 year olds all over the place with machine guns," said Greenman. "At the opening ceremony, there were helicopters flying over the stadium and soldiers with machine guns everywhere. To get into hotels, you always had to show your credentials."
That tension, though, didn't detract from Greenman's appreciation of Israel. "Everyone was very friendly," said Greenman. "You learn how much Israel means to Jews around the world. You have to be there to understand that."
And Israel will certainly mean more to Greenman after his memorable experience at the Maccabiah Games.