Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is proud to announce that they have reached an agreement with Jewish NBA star Jordan Farmar (24, 1.88) who played point guard for the New Jersey Nets last season. Prior to signing with the Nets, Farmar played for the Los Angeles Lakers for four seasons, twice winning the NBA championship with them. Farmar will play for Israeli champions/European vice-champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv for as long as the NBA lockout continues.
It was Farmar himself – a Jew with strong ties to Israel - who approached the club, asking for the opportunity to play for the flagship team of Israeli basketball. Maccabi head coach David Blatt had several conversations with Farmar and was impressed by his strong desire to play for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv for the enjoyment of the Israeli fans, and to contribute all he could. Because of his deep Jewish roots and his excellent basketball skills, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv decided to welcome Farmar to the team with open arms.
Jordan Farmar, an American Jew, was born in Los Angeles, California. When he was three years old, his parents divorced. His Jewish mother, Melinda, married again, this time to Yehuda Kolani, who had moved from his native Tel Aviv to Los Angeles. Together, they raised Farmar. Kolani, incidentally, is a relative of well-known Israeli basketball player Limor Mizrachi.
Farmar is a quick and athletic point guard who excels at penetrating to the basket and is a superb passer who can score from every range on the court. He is considered a creative and intelligent player with outstanding jumping ability who loves to work hard.
Farmar was a star even in high school, where in his senior year at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California he averaged 27.5 points and 6.5 assists and led his school to their first Los Angeles city title. He was named the California Interscholastic Federation Los Angeles City Section High School Player of the Year. In his highest-scoring high school game he scored 54 points.
In his first season at UCLA (2004 – 2005), Farmar contributed 13.2 points, 5.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He was named Rivals.com National Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, Farmar led UCLA to the final of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, where they lost to the Florida Gators. Farmar led all scorers with 18 points, and finished with 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. He finished the season with averages of 13.5 points. 5.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds.
Farmar impressed NBA scouts at a pre-draft camp, where he was recorded with the highest vertical leap of anyone there (42 inches). In 2006, after only two years in college, he was drafted at number 26 by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of that summer's NBA draft. In his first season with the Lakers (2006 – 2007) he averaged 15 minutes per game as a back-up point guard, but in the playoffs he played in the starting five in all five games against the Phoenix Suns. During that season Farmar also played three games for the Laker's D-League team. He made history by becoming the first player to play in games in both the D-League and the NBA on the same day. Farmar played for the Rookies in the 2007 NBA All-Stars Rookies/Sophomores game and for the Sophomores the following year.
In his second season in the NBA (2007 – 2008) Farmar's numbers took a significant jump as he played in all 103 of the Laker's games, until they were stopped in the final by the Boston Celtics. Farmar's averages in the regular season were 9.1 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per 20.6 minutes of playing time per game.
Farmar won his first NBA championship ring with the Lakers at the end of the 2008 – 2009 season, when he averaged 6.4 points and 2.4 assists per game. He missed one month of the season with a knee injury. In the 2009 – 2010 season he won a second championship with the Lakers with similar averages, 7.2 points in 18 minutes per game, and played in all 105 of the Laker's games.
After four successful seasons with the Lakers, Farmar became a free agent, and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the New Jersey Nets. Last season (2010 – 2011) was the most successful to date in Farmar's career: he played an average of 24.6 minutes and scored 9.6 points, dished out 5 assists, and pulled down 2.4 rebounds per game. Farmar was ranked 13th among top NBA playmakers in assists per 48 minutes of playing time. Also that season, he scored a career-high 28 points in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and made a career-high 17 assists in a game against Washington.
Over the past five seasons, Farmar has played in 443 NBA games (including playoffs) and has a career-average 7.4 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 rebounds in 19.4 minutes of playing time per game. Up until now, he has scored 3,127 points in the NBA.
Jordan Farmar has visited Israel several times in the past, and had his bar mitzvah here, as well. In the summer of 2008, while a player for the Lakers, he came as a guest of the Peres Center for Peace, and hosted a special basketball camp for Israeli and Palestinian youth. Farmar is very active in the Los Angeles Jewish community, in one case raising $66,000 for the Chabad House by shooting 37 free throws in 90 seconds. Farmar is a known philanthropist who hosts many charitable events organized by his mother, on behalf of youth at risk and children with cancer.