By Amy Samin
The Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Basketball Club recently honored two of its greatest legends, Lou Silver and the late Jim Boatwright, two of the heroes of the 1977-78 season, with a moving induction ceremony at Nokia Arena that included raising their jerseys to the rafters. Boatwright’s former wife and Silver received special plaques commemorating their addition to the ranks of Maccabi’s Hall of Famers, and a beautiful gold and diamond ring.
In attendance to honor Boatwright and Silver were their teammates on that history-making 1977 European Championship team: Tal Brody, Moti Aroesti, Miki Berkowitz, Aulcie Perry, and Shuki Shwartz, as well as assistant coach Ariyeh Davidsco, physiotherapist Uri Baharav, team manager Shamluk Machrovsky, Ruti Klein – widow of the great Coach Ralph Klein – and club chairman Shimon Mizrahi.
He came to Maccabi in the summer of 1975 and played for the yellow and blue for ten seasons, part of that time serving as captain. A super-intelligent forward with a unique shot (drawing the ball back behind his head) and an unforgettable moustache, Silver was the glue that held together the group of stars that made up the Maccabi Tel Aviv that won two European titles, in 1977 and 1981.Silver scored 1,999 points for Maccabi in Europe – fifth highest of all time. He currently works as an attorney, excelling at that as he once did in basketball.
In the summer of 1974 the man with the golden hand arrived in Maccabi, where he would remain for seven seasons, including a stint as captain. He is considered one of the greatest and most intelligent players the team has ever had. If there was ever someone who stepped up for the big games, it was Jimbo. Boatwright scored 26 points in the historic 1977 European championship game in Belgrade, leading Maccabi to their first ever European Champions’ Cup. He scored 1,481 points for Maccabi in Europe. In February of this year he passed away after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer, at the age of only 61. He was represented at the ceremony by his former wife, Chris.