By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has signed American Jake Cohen (22, 6'10") to a four year contract. Cohen is a Jewish-American power forward who was born in Pennsylvania. He has a fantastic range on offense, plays well with his back to the basket, and has a soft touch from all over the court. Jake has been blessed with a very high level of basketball intelligence and enjoys battling for every ball. Cohen has been marked as one of the club's projects, and was therefore signed to a long-term contract; he will be integrated gradually into Maccabi's roster, so that he can develop and grow with the club.
This summer, Cohen graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, where in his senior year he posted averages of 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. In 30 out of 34 games he scored in double figures. Although he plays as a big man, Cohen sank 38 three-pointers in 34 games in his final season with Davidson, on 39% shooting from outside the arc. He was 50% from two point range and 83% from the free throw line.
In the last two years (2012 and 2013), Cohen led his team to the NCAA tournament and was named Southern Conference Player of the Year, the first from Davidson College to do so since Stephen Curry (currently with the Golden State Warriors). Cohen finished his career with Davidson as the all-time leader in blocked shots, and sixth on the list of all-time scorers.
In the summer of 2010 Jake played for the Israeli U-20 National Team, where he was the leading scorer for Division B in the European Championships. He scored an average of 20 points per game and pulled down 8 rebounds, and Israel finished the competition in fifth place. He also led all players in the tournament with 87% free throw shooting.
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt: "We have had our eye on Jake throughout his college career and of course while he was playing for Israel's U-20 National Team. Jake is a multi-layered big man who can play and contribute from both the 4 and 5. He has an excellent offensive game both in and out of the paint, along with excellent shooting skills. Keep in mind that he is a young player who needs time to develop, but there is no doubt that this player has tremendous potential."