The Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball player spoke in an interview: “I feel one hundred percent Israeli, I want citizenship,” “Tel Aviv is like Las Vegas.” And also: the role model, the beginning of his journey and the fans
Four years ago, Jacob Brown came to Israel. After a year at Gilboa / Galil and three more at Hapoel Jerusalem, the point guard arrived at Hapoel Tel Aviv and in an interview with the team’s official website he shared his feelings, told about the role model, life in Tel Aviv, the fans, his beginnings and also referred to the national anthem.
“Joaquin Schuchman taught me the words,” Brown said on ‘Hatikvah’ (“the hope”). “I know that on the one hand it is a very Jewish song but on the other hand in my opinion it is also racist. It’s a good song but we need other words, I think we need a song that includes everyone. ” The guard expanded: “I am 100% Israeli, I am no longer American. I do not know who is responsible for this – but they should already give me a citizenship, say it to those who are in charge of it: I want Israeli citizenship.”
The coordinator told about the previous cities where he lived in Israel: “Gilboa is reminiscent of the area where I grew up in the US – small, quiet and everyone knows everyone. You wake up there with the smell of cows, the smell of a farm in the air. When I moved to Jerusalem I realized everything is more religious. Tel Aviv is just like Las Vegas. There are big differences. I do not know where I would rather live, all I need is video games, my phone and basketball – if I have it I can live anywhere.
Before I got to the country my planning was to take a year off from basketball because of Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas, where I grew up. Basketball was not my top priority. When I decided to come here – the main motive was survival – I knew I needed to help my family financially. I was not afraid to come to Israel, no matter where you go to play, you can listen to what people tell you about the country, the team or the people but in the end you must go and experience it for yourself – because what is good or bad for others will not necessarily be so for you. “When I choose a team to go to, anywhere in the world, the only thing that matters to me is to know and hear opinions about the coach, that’s the only thing that matters.”
Brown described the environment in which he grew up and the road to basketball: “I grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, it’s a 20-minute drive from Houston. I started acting at the age of 3. I saw the movie “White men can’t jump”, which is my favorite movie to this day, what I did following it was take potatoes from my grandmother, put a pot in and started throwing them away. Were angry because I was playing with food at home, but that’s all I wanted to do. I said to my grandmother ‘Grandma, I know I’m ruining your potatoes and messing up your house, but basketball will be my whole life one day. At the age of 12 I switched to playing football and it became the main thing in my life, Texas is a state of football, long before basketball, so that’s what most kids do.
I was a good football player and towards the end of high school I started getting scholarship offers, at the age of 16 I had a few games in a row where I got a concussion and my mom told me ‘Enough! “You finished with football.” I immediately returned to basketball. ”
The guard continued: “My father is my role model, it will always be him, above all. He taught me how to be a good and respectful person. I learned from him to treat every person and not ignore anyone, everyone deserves to be seen and when you treat someone – it can change their day. In my free time I watch basketball 24/7. When I was growing up I was not a fan of a team but of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and a few other great players. Then, my cousin, Stephen Jackson joined the NBA and I started following him. “I watch every possible basketball league: African, Greek, Turkish, Serbian, Italian – any country that throws, as long as I can find a broadcast of it – I see it.”
The actor spoke about the crowd of the Reds from Tel Aviv: “I love them. In the end, you as a player, play first and foremost for the fans. When I first came to Drive In with Gilboa / Galil, the first thing I said was ‘wow, I want to play for this audience every week’. Even when I played for the rivalry and the Hapoel crowd tried to drive me crazy, I appreciated them. It makes the game more fun. Luckily, I know how to fax myself during games. The biggest moment in your career? There is not a single moment I can choose. Every moment I play and throw the ball to the basket is a significant moment in my life. Whether losing or winning, the game itself is above all for me. You never know how much time you have left to play, so you have to enjoy every moment ”.