First class of athletes chosen for YU Maccabees Hall of fame
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First class of athletes chosen for YU Maccabees Hall of fame

Legendary basketball coach Bernard “Red” Sarachek, fencing coach Arthur Tauber, and wrestling coach Henry Wittenberg, along with the all-time leading women’s and men’s basketball scorers, are among the inaugural inductees into the Maccabees Hall of Fame. The distinction honors Yeshiva University alumni and others who have distinguished themselves in National Collegiate Athletic Association competition and who best exemplify YU’s ideals and mission. The inaugural class induction ceremony will be held in May.

“The establishment of the Hall of Fame is a testament to the contributions Yeshiva athletes, coaches, and others have made to the world of sports over more than a century and the reflection of Yeshiva’s long and illustrious athletic history,” Joe Bednarsh, YU’s athletic director, said. “We look forward to adding to the inductee list in years to come with individuals who best exemplify the exceptional athletic ability, personal integrity, high standards of character, and ideals and philosophy of Yeshiva University.”

The honorees include:

Heidi Nathan Baker, who led the women’s tennis team to a Skyline Conference Championship in 1999. She went undefeated in singles for all four years that she played, from 1996 to 1999, and was named the conference’s top singles player in 1999. She also coached the women’s tennis team for two years after she graduated.

Irwin Blumenreich played on the basketball team from 1954 to 1957 and was its captain. He scored 513 points in one season — for decades this stood as the most points scored in a season. He was the first Yeshiva basketball player to be elected to the All-Metropolitan team.

Daniela Epstein played on the Lady Macs YU women’s basketball team from 1999 to 2003. She is the all-time leading scorer, with 1,134 career points, and is the only woman in YU history to score more than 1,000 points in her career.

Yossy Gev is the all-time YU men’s basketball points leader with 1,871 points. He played on the men’s basketball team from 1998 to 2002, was captain for three out of the four years, and was assistant coach from 2002 to 2005.

Marvin Hershkowitz was the first basketball player in YU history to score 1,000 points. Six decades later, Hershkowitz still is ranked 23rd in team history in total points scored.

Sheldon Rokach played on the YU men’s basketball team from 1962 to 1966. Accomplishments include third all-time YU rebounder, with 1,020 rebounds; most points in one game (48),  and most rebounds in one game (33).

Bernard “Red” Sarachek, of the YU men’s basketball team, coached the 1954–1955 team, which broke every individual and team scoring record, including most wins (13), most points, most field goals, and the highest average score per game than any previous team. He is credited with putting YU basketball on the map.

Herbert Schlussel was a member of the YU basketball team from 1953 to 1957, and was its captain. Over his four-year career, Yeshiva basketball posted a 51-29 record.

Abe Sodden ranks 16th all-time in YU basketball scoring history. He played from 1952 to 1956, was captain, and broke the record at the time for most points in a season, with 384 points, by averaging the highest individual average per game, with 20.21 points.

Arthur Tauber was a men’s fencing coach and athletic director. He spent 37 years at YU, where he was a professor of health and physical education and director of health. He also coached the baseball, soccer, tennis, and cross-country teams.

Henry Wittenberg, a two time Olympic medalist, coached YU wrestling from 1957 to 1967. His personal wrestling career consisted of over 400 wins and four losses.

For more information, go to yu.edu/HOF.

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