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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Stand up for the Champions: welcome Ironi Ness Ziona!

Ironia Ness Ziona is the first club from Israel, which will play in the European North Basketball league.

Basketball is a big sport in Israel.

Maccabi Tel Aviv put Israel on the map, by winning the FIBA European Champions Cup on April 7, 1977, at the Pionir Hall in Belgrade.

The new stars received a heroes welcome at home and were greeted by 150 000 people.

Seventeen months later Maccabi Tel Aviv became the first European club to beat an NBA club after a 78-77 success against the Washington Bullets.

Led by Pini Gershon and David Blatt, Maccabi Tel Aviv conquered three titles at the ULEB Euroleague (2004, 2005, 2014) and generated new followers across the country.

In fact, you can meet Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters everywhere as they have one of the biggest fan bases in Europe.

Hapoel Jerusalem won the EuroCup on April 13, 2004, at the Spirou SuperDome in Charleroi, Belgium.

The Reds took down the famous Real Madrid 82-73.

Israeli Basketball Premier League turned into a highly competitive competition after these famous events.

Six different clubs have won the Winner league title during the last 15 seasons.

The list includes Hapoel Holon (2008 and 2022), Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Gilboa Galil (2010), Maccabi Haifa (2013), Hapoel Jerusalem (2015 and 2017) and Maccabi Rishon LeZion (2016).

Ironi Ness Ziona was founded in 2005 in the Israeli fifth league, and made it all the way to the Israeli Winner League in only eight seasons.

The Orange and Whites have reached the Winner League playoffs six times.

Ironi Ness Ziona reached the semifinals of the National Cup in 2016 and 2020, and played at the League Cup semifinals in 2015 and 2020.

The team entered the FIBA Europe Cup and played its first match on September 20, 2018, defeating the Södertälje Kings 72-67.

Two and a half years later Ironi Ness Ziona surprised the basketball world, by winning the 2021 FIBA Europe Cup.

The famous campaign started on January 26, 2021, at the...Hala Mistrzow – the site of the 2022 ENBL Final Four – in Wloclawek, Poland.

Ironi Ness Ziona defeated Portuguese club Sporting 86-81 and Hungarian side Szolnoki Olajbanyasz 90-73 before dropping a tight game against BM Slam Stal 86-93.

It was their first and last loss.

Two more bubbles followed in the Netherlands and Israel.

Ironi Ness Ziona traveled to Den Bosch to score two victories over Kyiv Basket (90-76) – led by a former Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Ainars Bagatskis – and Iraklis BC from Greece 105-80.

The club hosted the 2021 Final Four at the famous Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv.

Brad Greenberg`s boys won the semifinal clash against the BC Parma 81-80.

The opponents from Russia were led by Kazis Maksvytis – current head coach of Žalgiris Kaunas and Lithuania National team.

On April 25, 2021, Ironi Ness Ziona made the final step enroute to European glory and posted a 82-74 win over BM Slam Stal, led by Igor Miličič.

Israeli team trailed by nine points 55-64 with 11:52 to go but finished the game with a 27-10 run.

Nimrod Levi scored 21 points for the winners.

American center Jerome Meyinsse (Virginia 2006-2010) had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Since that historic trophy the number of Israeli teams that participate in European competitions has skyrocketed, with this season being a record number of 9 clubs.

Ness Ziona puts a lot of effort in the community and children in the community, having one of the biggest youth departments in Israel with over 1500 boys and girls.

Ironi Ness Ziona went through a lot of changes in the off-season, bringing in some new faces. The team is led by new coach Elad Hassin.

The promising rookies include Tyler Bey (Colorado 2017-2020, selected #36 by the Philadelphia 76ers at the 2020 NBA dratft) and Shaq Buchanan (Murray State 2017-2019).

The most notable newcomer is a veteran point guard D.J. Cooper (Ohio 2009-2013).

A Chicago born Cooper recently broke the Winner League's record for assists in a game with 20.

Notable Israeli players are former Israeli National team sharpshooter Golan Gutt, and the Ness-Ziona local Tomer Levinson.

Team captain Lior Carreira suffered a season-ending knee injury and will not be available.

Ironi Ness Ziona is a shining example how to mix the high achievements with a respectable work in the youth field.

A message from the club

We are happy to join the ENBL this season. We wanted to join a professional and high-level competition and the ENBL offered just that. We are looking forward to an exciting season!


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