PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – After excelling in the pool and in the classroom all year long, two current members of the Brown water polo team and two incoming freshmen have been selected to represent their respective countries at the 19th World Maccabiah Games from July 17-30 in Israel.
Rising senior James McNamara (Los Angeles, CA) and rising sophomore William Klein (Pasadena, CA) as well as incoming freshman Hannah Koper (Santa Barbara, CA) will represent the United States in the competition, while incoming freshman Yahel Murvitz Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel) will represent Israel.
"To have these wonderful young men and women representing their country and the University is fantastic," said head coach Felix Mercado. "I am very proud to be their coach."
The third-largest international sporting event in the world, the Maccabiah Games draws more than 7,000 athletes from 60 countries and features high-level competition in 34 sports.
McNamara, a 2012 first team CWPA All-North honoree, led Brown in assists (93) and steals (83) last season while also scoring 51 goals. He earned CWPA Northern Division Player and Defensive Player of the Week honors on October 17, bringing his career total of weekly honors to ten. Klein also contributed considerably to the Bears during his rookie campaign, scoring 15 goals and adding 16 assists, while also notching 22 steals.
"Playing in the Maccabiah Games will be an unbelievable cultural and athletic experience," said McNamara. "I am so grateful that Will is coming with me! Having a teammate in Israel will add a lot of chemistry for next season."
"I knew that if I was going to play in the Games it would be the summer after my freshman year in college and I can't believe that I actually made the team and my dream is becoming a reality," added Klein. "I am most excited about visiting and experiencing Israel while at the same time playing on a team with some of the best players in the nation."
Koper and Lahav will both be joining the Bears in the fall after putting together impressive high school careers. Koper was a four-year starter and two-year captain of the varsity water polo team at San Marcos High School. She was selected to the All-CIF team on three occasions, and won four Junior Olympic medals with the Santa Barbara Club Team. Lahav captained the Israeli Junior National Team and is currently a member of the country's national team.
"I feel honored to have been chosen to play water polo in the Maccabiah Games and to represent my country," said Koper. "I am looking forward to traveling to Israel and experiencing all of the amazing culture and sights it has to offer. I am most excited about being able to play with and meet other Jewish athletes from the United States, as well as the rest of the world. I feel that gaining experience in playing in the international style of water polo, as well as playing with older, more experienced athletes will strengthen my abilities and help me in the coming years at Brown."
"It makes me proud to represent the national team of Israel in the upcoming Maccabiah Games," said Murvitz-Lahav.
Visit the Maccabiah Games website to follow the progress of all four athletes when they compete this July.