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April 25, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 25, 2014 PAGE 11A Seeking Kin: In Berlin, giving wronged Olympians their glory By Hillel Kuttler The "Seeking Kin" column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. BALTIMORE (JTA)--Nan- cy Glickman was a teenager when she heard the story about her father at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin: Marty Glickman and another Jewish sprinter, Sam Stoller, were replaced as members of the 400-meter relay team for the U.S. squad on the morning of the event. Asking her father about the slight one night, he pulled out his uniform from the bottom drawer of a large dresser to display it. Right there, Nancy Glickman requestedthe item be bequeathed to her when he died. Marty Glickman, "well before" his death at 83 in 2001, gave her the uniform, Nancy Glickman said, and she stores it in a duffel bag in her Washington, D.C., apartment. "I'm the keeper of the uni- form, ' she said. Maccabi USA, the Phila- delphia-based branch of the Maccabi World Union sports federation, is hoping members of the Glickman and Stoller families will go to Berlin in July 2015 when the European Maccabi Games are held in the German capital and the memories of the two track stars are honored. It will be the first time Berlin hosts the games, which started in 1929. The organization did not know the whereabouts of the Glickman and Stoller families. Last week, "Seeking Kin" found them. Maccabi USA Executive Director Jed Margolis said he will soon contact the relatives and hopes they will agree to serve as honorary captains, or bear the banner preceding the expected 150 American ath- letes and staff onto the field. Nancy Glickman, at 60 the youngest of her father's four children, said last week that Maccabi USA's interest is "a very nice gesture." The organizers haven't decided where the opening - ceremony will be held, but one option is Olympiastadione, where the African-American sprinter Jesse Owens earned four gold medals 78 years ago--with Adolf Hitler in at- tendance--andwhere Owens' Jewish teammates were to have competed, too. Glickman believed the anti-Semitism and Nazi sym- pathies of several U.S. officials led to his and Stoller's removal from the relay team. "We feel sorry that Stoller and GIickman were denied the opportunity to run because of their religion," Margolis said. "They had a great injustice done to them in 1936. It'd be wonderful to have someone from the family march in with us." Marty Glickman would go on to become a prominent sports broadcaster with rec- ognition in several halls of fame. The native New Yorker's resume included calling foot- ball games for his hometown Giants and Jets, as well as Knicks basketball. The Nevhouse School of Public Communications athis alma mater, Syracuse Univer- sity, last year established the Marty Glickman Award for Leadership in Sports Media. Its first recipient was Bob Costas, like Glickman an eminent sports broadcaster and Syracuse graduate. Cos- tas, the host of NBC's cover- age of the Olympics, played a pivotal role in connecting "Seeking Kin" with Glick- man's family, requesting that Syracuse provide their contact information. Costas recalled that Glick- man, whom he admired greatly, would discuss the Berlin slight if asked. "He lived in the present, but with a strong sense of the past," Costas told Seeking Kin. "He didn't nurse any grudges, but neither did he forget." As a young broadcaster, he added,"I was one of the people he took under his wing." Costas was among the many interviewees in "Glick- man," a 2013 documentary by Jim Freedman, who like Costas grew up in New York listening to Glickman's foot- ball broadcasts. At 17, Freedman worked as a producer on a radio show hosted by Glickman. "It was the most exciting job I ever had," he said, Stoller, for his part, report- edly swore off running after the Berlin snub, but reversed course upon returning to the University of Michigan and was selected as a 1937 All-America. That year he also began acting and singing in films. Apparentlywhile on an ath- letic tour of the Philippines in 1938, he met his wife, Violet, a native of China, and the couple settled in his native Cincinnati. Less is known about his life afterward. But Pat Vasiliaros, a genealogy enthusiast who'd assisted "Seeking Kin" on a previous column, provided research that helped find the relatives of Stoller, who died at 69 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1985. Working from U.S. Census data, Vasillaros learned that Stoller had two brothers, David and Daniel, and a sister, Tillie. Their mother, Sophia Katz Stoiler, apparently died, and their father, Morris (also listed as Maurice), like Sophia an immigrant from Russia, married a woman named Martha, a Kentuckian. They had a son, Harry. An obituary published upon Harry's death in Cincinnati last September mentioned his survivors. One of his daughters, Kathy Kaplan, told "Seeking Kin" that Sam Stoller did not have any children. To Bill Mallon, a past president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, the 2015 Berlin event, with Stoiler and Glickman rela- tives attending, promises to be meaningful and poignant. "For Jewish athletes to walk into the Berlin stadium, knowing what happened there in 1936, and wha t happened after - what Hitler did to the world, and especially to the Jews, in World War II; and then what happened in 1972 in Munich [when 11 Israeli Olympians were killed by Palestinian terrorists] - I'm not Jewish, but if you have a sense of history, that would be an odd and eerie feeling," Mallon said. Glickman lived to receive a 1998 award from the U.S. Olympic Committee as a way ofatoningforl936. The award was presented posthumously to Stoller. Glickman's death in Janu- Nancy Glickman American sprinters Marly Glickman, left, and Sam Stoller, at sea traveling to the 1936 Olympics, were prevented from competing at the games in Berlin but will be posthumously honored at the 2015 European Maccabi Games there. ary 2001, Nancy Glickman be- lieves, spared him far greater grief: His grandson, Peter Alderman, 25, worked in the World Trade Center and was killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 that year. "It was a good thing, frank- ly," she said of the timing of her father's passing. "It would're devastated my dad." Please email Hillel Kut- tler at if you wouM like "Seeking Kin" to write about your search for long-lost relatives and friends. Please include the principal facts and your contact information in a brief email. "Seeking Kin" is sponsored by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and fam- ily in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shuchat, a lifelong uniter of the Jewish people. Maccabi TelJiviv in the NBA? It may not be a hoop dream Flash 90 Might the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team someday be lifting the NBA championship trophy, as its players and others did here after winning the 2012 Israeli Basketball Super League title? By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)--Mac- cabi Tel Aviv reportedly is heading back to the United States this fall for its first exhibition games against NBA teams in five years - but greater developments appear to be in the works for the iconic franchise and Israeli basketball For one, how about NBA squads making the trans- Atlantic flight to play regular- season games in Israel, and an Israeli club flying the other way to play in NorthAmerica? First, the exhibitions, which have yet to be con- firmed: Tel Aviv will meet the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 5 and the Brooklyn Nets two nights later, the Israeli team's co-chief executive officer Eli Drikes told JTA. The Israelis last made a U.S. jaunt in 2009 to face the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers. They were NorthAmerica regulars in the mid- to late 2000s, playing a total of nine games over four preseasons in five years. It was seen as the high-water mark in North America for the Israeli Basketball Super League's dynastic club. But that could change if you ask Tal Brody, a former star player for Tel Aviv. Brody accompanied team executives in meetings in New York last week with Nets management and recently retired NBA Commissioner David Stern, and said his for- mer squad could be part ofa new NBA European Division that Brody predicted would be established within a decade. Revotionary as it seems, th*IBA has a record of mining global branding op- portunities. It has 14 offices overseas, and with the in- creased number of foreign- born players populating its rosters--92 at the-start of this season, 26 percent of the NBA's total--the league's tie- ins abroad would make even more sense. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters during All-Star weekend in Febru- ary that he is "committed to studying" international expansion, but the issue and domestic expansion are "not on the top of my list right now." With 50 Israeli champion- ships and five Euroleague titles, Tel Aviv (16-7 heading into Thursday's regular- season finale) is the revered team in Israel. But others in Israel'are catching up, due-in part to American ownership and coaching. Maccabi Haifa, owned by Miami resident Jeffrey Rosen, defeated Tel Aviv to secure the Israel title last year. Haifa's winning coach, Brad Green- berg, a New Yorker with NBA experience as an assistant coach and in management, now works the sidelines for Hapoel Jerusalem, whose American owners include Knicks forward Amar'e Stou- demire. Americans are among the minority owners of Maccabi Tel Aviv, and its head coach, David Blatt, is a Bostonian who made aliyah. The team is expanding its U.S. visibility through a deal reached last week with the MSG Network, which broadcasts Knicks games, to screen Tel Aviv highlights and features on top of agree- ments in place with Comcast's Chicago affiliate and the Los Angeles-based Jewish Life Television. lacking in Israeli basketball, he said. "We want the player to get up in the morning, eat a proper breakfast, attend classes, have lunch, get proper rest, train--a real system," Drikes said. The proposal has an ad- vocate in Houston Rockets "The Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Omri Casspi, who brand is a very strong one, so it seems like a great fit," said Brad Pomei'ance, senior vice president for news and programming at JLTV, which on Sunday will screen its fourth monthly program on -the team. Such publicity and the renewal of NBA exhibition games will help in attaining another ambitious goal: Tel Aviv's planned construction of a basketball academy. In the conversation with JTA, Drikes said the academy would be constructed in the city and house up to 150 promising basketball players, mostly boys. It would open in the fall of 2015 at a cost of $15 million, he said. played for Tel Aviv's junior teams before rising to the par- ent club and then becoming the first Israeli to reach the NBA, arriving in 2009. "It's a great idea to have an academy in Israel," Casspi said Sunday by telephone from Houston. "There are various talents not only in Israel but all over Europe that need to be developed and trained in away to be successful in basketball and any other sport. "The bond with the NBA can help Maccabi and the academy by bringing in NBA coaches and player-develop- ment coaches to brainstorm different ideas on how to train young players. We are lacking in Israel that part of Drikes said he hopes his the game." team's U.S. visit in October will attract Jewish Americans and others "to be financial partners" in the venture while drawing Jewish ballplayers from America to attend the academy. Tel Aviv and other Israeli teams have youth clubs and departments, but a dormito- ry-style facility would provide the coordinated approach While the Jewish state has very good coaches, Casspi said, he's found that the role of coaches in North America in a player's improvement is "so much more intense than what I had in Israel." For now, there are the October games. While not confirming the game in the NBA on page 15A