"A year ago, no one knew Yogev Ohayon even existed. furthermore, if he would still be playing for Hapoel Jerusalem, nobody would hear of him," said Maccabi Tel-Aviv owner David Federman during a local Israeli radio interview yesterday.
That said, let's get some facts straight.
In 2005, DraftExpress.com's Director of International Scouting Luis Fernandez, claimed the Israeli 19-year-old left-handed point guard was "not the prototypical player that a league like the NBA looks for." However, he explained that "for the European competition, he (Ohayon) seems to have a bright future, and his talent could carry him even further with the proper work and development."
Fernandez also resembled Ohayon's play to that of the Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash and Argentine-Spanish playmaker Pepe Sanchez.
After recording 8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4 assists per game during his full rookie year with Hapoel Galil Elyon in the 2005-06 season, over the years, Ohayon established himself into Galil's, Jerusalem's and now Maccabi's and the Israeli national team's most appreciated ball handler.
Recent rumors flooded the Israeli press the past few days about an explosion between Ohayon's people and Maccabi's management. According to reports, the player's representatives claim to have a buyout option that allows Ohayon to terminate his agreement with the Israeli powerhouse, while Tel Aviv claims Ohayon is strictly under contract until the end of 2012-13.
While the confusing versions of the agreement continue to be revealed, Ohayon, who's currently receiving interest from Panathinaikos, Malaga, Caja Laboral, Kazan and Kuban, might have to settle this issue in court (i.e. Jeremy Pargo and Maccabi saga).
He who deserves colossal credit for Ohayon's emergence this past season is Maccabi's head coach David Blatt.
It's no secret that when signing Jordan Farmar, Theodoros Papaloukas and Tal Burstein to the team's roster earlier last season Ohayon was expected to come off the bench for spotty Euroleague minutes but play a bigger role during the domestic contest.
After parting ways with Farmar in mid-season, Maccabi's coaching staff decided to acquire Demond Mallet for the opening of Euroleague Top 16 rounds. A move that again illustrated to Ohayon that he wasn't trusted.
While Mallet played a combined 24 minutes throughout five Elite 8 Euroleague series games against Panathinaikos, it was Ohayon who helped rally the yellow-and-blue to one of Europe's heroic series and dazzling performances by an Israeli player in any European competition.
The Euroleague rookie Ohayon came up big for Maccabi versus Panathinaikos and nearly sent his ball club to final four games in Turkey. Against the Greeks Yogev dished out more assists (2.8) and scored almost double (9.8) then his regular Euroleague season averages of 2.6 dimes and 5.6 points.
While Ohayon and his agent carry on their act of media silence, Maccabi continues to expose the player's contract information, disclosing dates and clauses.
As for Federman's callout against Ohayon, in June, 2007, on DraftExpress.com's weekly player evaluation, Ohayon was chosen for a spotlight breakdown over players such as Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Fernandez and Omri Casspi, stating "it's fair to expect Ohayon to become a very nice player in Europe, even a premier point guard if he maximizes his potential."
So, five years later, Ohayon is living up to the expectations and even though he's currently in the United States on vacation and wasn't able to be reached for comment, it is safe to say - he was well known across waters before joining Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Winner League Round 3 of Quarter-Finals. Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Hapoel Eilat reach semifinals - May 28, 2016
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Maccabi Haifa - Maccabi Rishon 83-66 Maccabi Haifa outgunned Maccabi Rishon to open win count in the series. The game was mostly controlled by Maccabi Haifa. Maccabi Rishon managed to win third quarter 19-13. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Maccabi Haifa dominated down low during the game scoring 46 of its points in the paint compared to Maccabi Rishon's 22. Americans were the main players on the court also this time. The best player for the winners w... [read more]
Maccabi Haifa outgunned Maccabi Rishon to open win count in the series. The game was mostly controlled by Maccabi Haifa. Maccabi Rishon managed to win third quarter 19-13. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Maccabi Haifa dominated down low during the game scoring 46 of its points in the paint compared to Maccabi Rishon's 22. Americans were the main players on the court also this time. The best player for the winners was point guard John DiBartolomeo (183-91, college: Rochester, agency: Duran International) who scored 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Swingman William Graves (198-88, college: N.Carolina) chipped in 19 points. DiBartolomeo is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top international summer league in the market. Maccabi Haifa's coach Rami Hadar used a ten-player rotation and allowed the starting five to rest. At the other side the best for losing team was power forward Darryl Monroe (201-86, college: George Mason) who recorded 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists and forward Chris Wright (203-88, college: Dayton) added 11 points and 9 rebounds respectively. Four Maccabi Rishon players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Maccabi Haifa: J.DiBartolomeo 21+9reb+4ast, W.Graves 19+4reb+2ast, L.Hickerson 15+4reb+1ast, G.Vargas 9+6reb+4ast, O.Blayzer 7+9reb+2ast, C.Colman 5+4reb+3ast Maccabi Rishon: D.Monroe 15+7reb+5ast, S.Dawson 15+4reb+1ast, M.Lyons 11+1reb+6ast, C.Wright 11+9reb, K.Palmer 6+1reb, T.Younger 5+5reb+1ast
Hapoel Jerusalem thumped Hapoel Tel-Aviv to take 2-1 lead in the series. The game was mostly controlled by Hapoel Jerusalem. Hapoel Tel-Aviv was better in third quarter 22-17. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Hapoel Jerusalem players were unselfish on offense dishing 23 assists. It was a quality performance for international forward Lior Eliyahu (205-85) who led the winners with a double-double by scoring 10 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. The former international Yotam Halperin (194-84) accounted for 19 points and 4 assists for the winning side. Four Hapoel Jerusalem players scored in double figures. American guard Chester Simmons (196-82, college: Washington) came up with 24 points and 8 rebounds and the former international center Robert Rothbart (217-86, agency: Octagon Europe) added 17 points and 6 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field) respectively for Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the defeat. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Hapoel J-M: Y.Halperin 19+3reb+4ast, E.Rowland 16+5reb+2ast, D.Smith 16+8reb+2ast, B.Timor 10+2reb+2ast, L.Eliyahu 10+10reb+8ast, E.Holman 9+4reb+2ast Hapoel T-A: C.Simmons 24+8reb+1ast, R.Rothbart 17+6reb, R.Limonad 14+2reb+7ast, N.Robinson 7+1reb+1ast, J.Allen 6+7reb+1ast, D.Wachner 2
Maccabi Tel-Aviv cruised past Bnei Hertzeliyya to sweep the quarterfinal series. The game without a history. Maccabi T-A led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 48 of its points in the paint compared to Bnei Hasharon's 26 and made 18-of-23 free shots (78.3 percent) during the game. They outrebounded Bnei Hasharon 52-33 including a 20-9 advantage in offensive rebounds. Maccabi T-A looked well-organized offensively handing out 24 assists. The best player for the winners was American-Nigerian power forward Trevor Mbakwe (207-89, college: Minnesota, agency: Pensack Sports) who scored 7 points and 15 rebounds. Bosnian-Croatian Dragan Bender (213-97) chipped in 11 points and 7 rebounds. At the other side the best for losing team was American guard Drew Crawford (196-90, college: Northwestern) who recorded 15 points and 9 rebounds and the other American import forward James Singleton (203-81, college: Murray St.) added 12 points and 5 rebounds respectively. The winner was already known earlier in the game, so both coaches allowed to play the bench players saving starting five for next games. Top scorers: Maccabi T-A: I.Segev 12+7reb, D.Bender 11+7reb+1ast, D.Yavzuri 11+2reb+2ast, I.Ofoegbu 11+7reb, T.Rochestie 9+1reb+3ast, T.Mbakwe 7+15reb+2ast Bnei Hertzeliyya: D.Crawford 15+9reb+2ast, J.Singleton 12+5reb+1ast, S.Dennis 8+2reb+4ast, H.N'Diaye 4+3reb, K.Mashour 4+3reb+2ast, D.Rubin 4+5reb+4ast
Hapoel Eilat advanced into the semifinal stage following a narrow road win over Ironi Nahariya. The guests took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Ironi Nahariya won third quarter 27-25. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Americans were the main players on the court. It was a great evening for guard DeAndre Kane (193-89, college: Iowa St., agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory scoring 23 points and 6 rebounds. Khalif Wyatt (193-91, college: Temple, agency: Pensack Sports) helped adding 18 points and 10 assists. Four Hapoel Eilat players scored in double figures. The best for the losing side was Richard Howell (203-90, college: N.Carolina St.) with a double-double by scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds and swingman Cameron Clark (201-91, college: Oklahoma) scored 21 points and 5 rebounds. Top scorers: Hapoel Eilat: D.Kane 23+6reb+1ast, A.Simhon 19+2reb, K.Wyatt 18+10ast, A.Aminu 10+12reb, E.Kadir 8+8reb+6ast, A.Nissim 7+2reb+2ast Ironi Nahariya: C.Clark 21+5reb+1ast, G.Brown 18+4reb+2ast, R.Howell 17+10reb+1ast, M.Umeh 11+1reb, N.Berkowitz 7+5reb+6ast, E.Asante Asare 5+4reb+4ast
National League Round 5 of Finals. Galil Gilboa crowned champions - May 28, 2016
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Galil Gilboa - Ironi K-A 68-52 Galil Gilboa celebrated the National League title. They outgunned Ironi Kiryat-Ata in the decisive fifth game of the championship series and secured Winner League promtion. Galil Gilboa had a 33-22 advantage in offensive rebounds. American Jason Siggers (194-85, college: Albany) orchestrated the victory by scoring 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. His fellow American import forward Demetrius Treadwell (201-91, college: Akron) contributed with 14 points a... [read more]
Galil Gilboa celebrated the National League title. They outgunned Ironi Kiryat-Ata in the decisive fifth game of the championship series and secured Winner League promtion. Galil Gilboa had a 33-22 advantage in offensive rebounds. American Jason Siggers (194-85, college: Albany) orchestrated the victory by scoring 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. His fellow American import forward Demetrius Treadwell (201-91, college: Akron) contributed with 14 points and 6 rebounds for the winners. Four Galil Gilboa players scored in double figures. American guard Julien Mills (193-85, college: Ball St., agency: HMS) answered with 22 points and 9 rebounds and Tomer Ginat (202-94) added 19 points and 6 rebounds in the effort for Ironi Kiryat Ata. Ironi Kiryat Ata's coach rotated twelve players seeing no chance for a win. Top scorers: Galil Gilboa: J.Siggers 18+9reb+5ast, D.Treadwell 14+6reb+1ast, G.Dotan 14+4reb+2ast, O.Lev 11+3reb+2ast, O.Huber 5+3reb+1ast, J.Shuchman 5+11reb+4ast Ironi K-A: J.Mills 22+9reb, T.Ginat 19+6reb+1ast, D.Joyner 9+7reb+1ast, E.Sror 2, R.Yehia 0+1reb, N.Sachs 0
National League Round 4 of Finals. Galil Gilbao even title series, force decider - May 25, 2016
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Ironi K-A - Galil Gilboa 66-78 Galil Gilboa stayed alive in the National League title hunt. They beat Ironi Kiryat-Ata on the road to even the championship series at 2-2 forcing the decisive fifth game. Galil Gilboa outrebounded Ironi Kiryat Ata 51-34 including 18 on the offensive glass. Worth to mention a great performance of American forward Demetrius Treadwell (201-91, college: Akron) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 23 points and 15 rebounds. The other... [read more]
Galil Gilboa stayed alive in the National League title hunt. They beat Ironi Kiryat-Ata on the road to even the championship series at 2-2 forcing the decisive fifth game. Galil Gilboa outrebounded Ironi Kiryat Ata 51-34 including 18 on the offensive glass. Worth to mention a great performance of American forward Demetrius Treadwell (201-91, college: Akron) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 23 points and 15 rebounds. The other American import Jason Siggers (194-85, college: Albany) contributed with 29 points and 5 rebounds for the winners. Naturalized Canadian point guard Simon Farine (188-87) replied with 22 points and 7 rebounds (made all of his eight free throws) and American power forward Dallis Joyner (203-90, college: Stony Brook) added 14 points and 8 rebounds in the effort for Ironi Kiryat Ata. Four Ironi Kiryat Ata players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Ironi K-A: S.Farine 22+7reb+2ast, D.Joyner 14+8reb+3ast, T.Ginat 11+4reb+1ast, G.Halamish 10+7reb+3ast, J.Mills 4+7reb+1ast, J.Lewis 3 Galil Gilboa: J.Siggers 29+5reb+1ast, D.Treadwell 23+15reb, J.Shuchman 12+13reb+2ast, R.Pitshon 6+13reb+2ast, G.Dotan 6+1reb+5ast, O.Huber 2+3reb
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