After four years at the University of Maryland, women’s basketball guard Shay Doron has been drafted No. 16 overall by the team she’s been watching most of her life the New York Liberty.
Doron moved from Israel to Great Neck, N.Y. at the age of 3. Since it was created, the New York Liberty has been her team and guard Becky Hammon has been her hero.
When Doron was drafted earlier this year, it left her speechless.
"It’s probably the best feeling I could’ve asked for," she said. "I was so happy, it worked out perfectly. I wanted to stay on the East Coast, this is the team I’ve grown up watching and now I get to be a part of it. Just to hopefully make that team and wear that uniform I’m getting goose bumps just talking about it now."
Now that Doron has been drafted she’ll attend training camp for the team but will still be in the try-out phase. "They can cut up to midway through the season," she said.
As a representative of multiple communities in Maryland, Doron has garnered a lot of support on campus throughout her career.
"Israel has kind of adopted Maryland as their team," said Doron. "And the Jewish community on campus has been very supportive."
To gain more fan attendance at games earlier in the semester, Hillel sent an e-mail to students encouraging them to bring Israeli flags to a women’s basketball game to support Doron.
"She’s a proud Israeli, a proud Jew, and a proud Terp," said Rabbi Ari Israel, director of Maryland Hillel. "We’re all very proud of Shay and her accomplishments, and we wish her well."
"I’ve gotten so much support from Hillel and even in Israel, the media there, the people, my family," she said. "It’s great to know that people are behind you and just want you to be happy and want you to succeed."
While she said she’s proud and excited to represent Israel and the university, Doron said she feels little pressure from that responsibility.
"Things like that don’t really faze me," she said. "It’s just like another day for me. I don’t stress, I try to do my best for myself. I can’t do more than I’m doing. And that’s really all you can do."