Leading Yeshiva University to the longest-running winning streak in the entire U.S., 22-year-old Ryan Turell has also garnered interest from teams from the best league in the world. In what people call me or what they say ”
It happened last Sunday. Ryan Turell, a star of Yeshiva University, gave his friends and fans a real Hanukkah gift. The great combo guard scored 51 points and led his college to 56:78 over Manhattanville College. “You’re confused, the players gave me a holiday gift by saving me the game ball at the end,” Turell said modestly in an interview after the exciting evening with Jewish News Syndicate.
The 22-year-old Turell, for every 200 centimeters, a religious Jew of course, became the main player of the team last season, the one that is now making headlines in the United States again. Turell broke the player-points record in a single game in the history of Yeshiva University, but he and his friends are on their way, who knows, to enter the Guinness Book of Records. With 47 consecutive wins – the last one was achieved on the night between Sunday and Monday – 48:94 over Brooklyn College – the “Maccabees”, as they are called, hold the longest active winning streak in all the college leagues in the United States.
So true, they play in the third college league, but no one is going to ruin the festivities, even if Hanukkah is already behind us. “This achievement is not just for us. We play for a community, and this is the Jewish community, no matter if they are religious or not,” said one of the team’s players, Ofek Riff. “Winning the championship will be very important for us and will strengthen Yeshiva University as one of the great Jewish teams that have ever played.”
Meanwhile – the spotlight is on Turell, which so far averages 27.8 points per evening. “I’m not surprised by an interviewer,” admitted his coach, Elliott Steimenz. “He’s so talented, and we all know that. Even in the warm-up in that game against Manhattanville last week, the players were just looking for him. He’s such a selfless kid and always wants the team’s success.”
“If you are an Orthodox Jew, this is not the place for you”
Turell was a talented basketball player back in the high school league. In high school at valley Torah in Los Angeles, where he studied, he set triple-double averages. There were several colleges that coveted him, including an Army from the senior league, but he decided to go to observant college. He said he feared it would be difficult for him to obtain kosher food and that the experience would not suit the lifestyle he wanted to live. “We called a well-known rabbi,” he recalled. “And he said to us, ‘If you are an Orthodox Jew, this is not the place for you.'”
Yeshiva University actually does. From the first moment he felt at home in her. The excellent ability he demonstrated last season led to his selection in the top five of the season, in addition to being named Conference Player of the Year. Yeshiva University traveled to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament at Division 3, when Turell was in tremendous shape. In the first game he scored 41 points, in the next he provided 30, but the next encounter – against Randolph Macon College of Virginia – did not erode. The corona plague caused the season to end in the middle.
This season at Yeshiva University they stopped exactly where they left off last year. Last week they broke the college’s record of consecutive victories – with a 44-streak victory (which, as mentioned, has not stopped) and they rose to first place in the Division 3 colleges rankings – for the first time in history.
“It’s a nice thing, something we can look back on at some point, but not beyond,” Steimenz said. “The goal is of course at the end of the day to win the championship.”