It’s that time of year again! The Greens roster has been nearly assembled and season tickets are on sale. Let’s breakdown by position the several returning core players, as well as an exciting cadre of new players, whom have been added to the Maccabi Bazan Haifa roster.
Chanan Colman – The 6’3 Israeli-Danish guard finished his second season with Maccabi Haifa, and his sixth overall in the Israeli league, after joining the Greens during last season. In 23 regular season games, Colman tallied 7.9 points, grabbed 3.7 rebounds and dished out 3.6 assists in 26.8 minutes per game.
Gregory Vargas – The 29-year-old Venezuela national team point guard was named Finals MVP in Venezuela, after guiding Marinos de Anzoategui to a local title. In 35 games, he averaged 10.5 points (38.4% from downtown), 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 7.8 assists (league leader). The Venezuelan veteran has won 7 championships (5 LPB titles in Venezuela, 1 in Mexico (LNBP), and 1 Venezuela national team title). In September, Vargas will compete with the Venezuela national team in the 2015 FIBA Americas Championships in Mexico City, and is currently playing in the Pan-American games in Toronto.
John DiBartolomeo – The 23-year-old guard played this past season for Palma Air Europa in Spain’s second division. After playing his collegiate ball at NCAA Division III University of Rochester from 2009-13, DiBartolomeo signed with Zaragoza in Spain’s top division, but was loaned to Palma in the third division that season. After guiding the team to a promotion to the second division, he averaged 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 40.9 percent (52-of-127) from three-point range in 26.7 minutes over 28 games during the 2014-15 season in Spain’s second division. The 6-foot guard will make make Aliyah – becoming an Israeli citizen – for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Yiftach Ziv – The 20-year-old local Maccabi Haifa youth product begins his second season with the club, after playing 11 games for the Greens last season. Ziv also played for Elitzur Ramla in the second division with the Double Ticket, and averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 21.5 minutes per game. The 6-foot-3 guard competed for the Blue-and-White uniforms of the U20 Israeli National team in the European Championship in Italy this summer and posted 3.0 points in 11.2 minutes per game.
Kenny Bellinger – The 23-year-old guard became the first-ever Call Up from Haifa’s official developmental team affiliate the Miami Midnites. The 6-foot-1 guard played 26 games for the Midnites in two different leagues (FBA and ABA), tallying 12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.4 minutes per game.
Rene Rougeau – The 29-year-old versatile forward returns for his second season with the Greens, after an impression campaign last year with Haifa where he registered 12.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals (league leader) in 30.0 minutes over 33 games (29 starts). In five playoffs game, the 6-foot-6 forward averaged 13.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Will Graves – The 27-year-old forward joined the Greens during last season, appearing in 21 regular league games and averaged 13.0 points (41.8% from 3-point range), 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.8 minutes per game. In 2012, the 6’6 swingman played with his current teammate, Gregory Vargas, and together they won the championship in Venezuela.
Oz Blayzer – The 23-year-old forward comes to the Greens after two impressive seasons in the Israeli league with Bnei Herzeliya. Last season, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 9.0 points (37.9% from beyond the arc), along with 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 assists in 24.4 minutes in 33 games. He earned Eurobasket.com All-Israeli League Newcomer of the Year in his 2013-14 impressive rookie campaign in the Israeli Super League. A former Israeli U20 National Team Captain, Blayzer practiced alongside Alex Chubrevich with the National Team, before the upcoming European Championship.
Netanel Artzi – The 18-year-old talent begins his second season with the team, after being a member of the Greens’ roster last season, but mainly played for the youth team of Maccabi Haifa. The 6-foot-6 forward will travel to Austria with the U18 Israeli National team for the European Championship, which will begin on July 23.
Alex Chubrevich – The Green Giant, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on July 23, is starting his fourth season with the club, after taking a big step forward last season, doubling his stats compared to the 2013-14 season. Chubrevich averaged 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 20.1 minutes over 33 games for the Greens. After returning from a three-week trip to Miami for personal basketball training, Chubrevich will play for the Israeli National Team roster in the European Championship, which will be held in September.
Jeremiah Kreisberg – The 22-year-old Jewish-American center competed for Israel’s U20 national team (along with current Maccabi Haifa teammate Oz Blayzer) in the 2011 European Championships, where he tallied 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27.3 minutes over 6 games. The 6-foot-10 center spent four years at Yale from 2010-14, averaging 6.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game over three seasons. He did not play his senior season due to injury, and transferred to Northwestern as a fifth-year senior.