Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00
Representing Team USA is a tremendous honor, even for athletes and coaches who have had illustrious careers in their respective sports. For Bill Jaffe, it was extra special, coming full circle.
A former standout hockey player at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, Jaffe had the honor of coaching the USA men’s ice hockey team to a silver medal in the Maccabiah tournament in Israel last month. It was the first time that ice hockey was a part of the tournament since 1997, when Jaffe was team captain.
“It was a wonderful experience being with that group of players,” said the 44-year-old Williston Park resident. “The players were fantastic people and did everything they were asked. It was a real treat.”
The Maccabiah is an international sporting event for Jewish athletes held in Israel every four years. The athletes are generally aged between 19 and 25. The event involves nearly every sport and has featured notable athletes such as Mark
Spitz, who won seven Olympic gold medals as a swimmer.
Overall, Team USA finished second out of 19 participating countries with 191 medals during the tournament. Only Israel finished ahead of them, with 411.
Hockey is not a very popular sport in Israel, which posed a bit of a challenge. There is only one full size rink in the entire country. Jaffe called it a “unique experience,” coming back 16 years later.
“Going as a coach, I viewed it from a different perspective,” he said. “I understand things a little different now.”
Since his time as a player, Jaffe has been around the NHL for 15 years as a color commentator and analyst on various networks. He began with the Chicago Blackhawks’ radio network and moved on to the Atlanta Thrashers before making a name for himself as the New York Islanders commentator alongside veteran game-caller Howie Rose. He is now an analyst on the NHL Network.
Still, Jaffe’s greatest thrill is being involved with the development of the next breed of great hockey players. “Playing in Israel gave these players great experience that will benefit them.”
Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 August 2014 09:07) Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.
Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 August 2014 09:06) Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.
“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.
They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.
The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.
“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”