Team captain and the most senior player on the roster, this is Pnini’s eighth straight season in the yellow and blue. He is that rare breed, a player with heart. He plays with confidence and knows how to fire up the fans. Despite his height he has a soft touch from outside the arc. He is a true winner with tons of game smarts and defensive skills, one who excels at delivering the right pass to the big men in the paint.
Pnini grew up playing in the youth department of Maccabi Tel Aviv, and reached the pro team in the summer of 2009 after 5 seasons with Ra’anana/Bnei Hasharon, 2 years in Jerusalem, and one season playing in Serbia and Cyprus.
Even in 2009-10, his first season with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Pnini was the top Israeli player on the team, averaging 14.1 points in the Israeli League (fifth place in the league). He has been one of the leading Israeli players and the heart of Maccabi ever since. His best season so far came in 2011, when he averaged 7.2 points per game in the Euroleague and was ranked fourth in Europe in shooting percentages from three point range (46%). His best game was against Caja Laboral, when he scored 22 points, including 5 three pointers in the fourth and final game of the quarterfinal round. His most exciting season was 2013-14, in which he averaged 5.6 points in the Euroleague (41% shooting from downtown) and attained a childhood dream when he raised the Euroleague trophy at the end of the Final Four in Milan. His most painful season came last season, when he was injured in November in the derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv, tearing his Achilles’ tendon and ending his season before it had truly started. Pnini has won 11 titles so far with Maccabi: 6 Israeli Cups, 3 Israeli Championships, 1 Adriatic League Championship, and 1 Euroleague Championship. In addition, he is one of the most senior and important players on the Israeli National Team, with which he has played in 4 European Championship tournaments.