Barry Greenberg texted his daughter the words “GOODLUCK signed your biggest fan” before every basketball game and cross-country meet and that tradition, along with natural talent and hard work propelled Stephanie Greenberg to excel at Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School and Yeshiva University.
“I’m proud of her, she had a lot of success, I did it once and kept doing it for years,” Barry said about the pre-competition texts. “A lot of pride,” he added is what made Stephanie so good at both sports.
Greenberg, now a married woman who added Weinstein as her last name, is one of six individuals who will be inducted into the Y.U. Athletics Hall of Fame at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, New Jersey on June 15.
The upper Manhattan school’s athletics department noted that the Hall of Fame “honors student-athletes and coaches who have distinguished themselves in competition, and who best exemplify the University’s highest ideals of character and integrity.”
Greenberg, 29, grew up in a sport-driven home that included her mother, who played basketball in her youth, an older sister, Alyssa, and two younger brothers, Jake and Jonathan.
“I started playing on the school team as early as allowed, which was in the sixth grade, but my love for the sport started years ago before that,” Greenberg wrote in an email from Tel Aviv, where she lives beachside with her husband, Sam, and two children, Becca nearly 4 and Gabey 10 months old. “I began practicing in the driveway with my older sister, Alyssa, who inherited the love for the game from my mother, who also played basketball growing up.”
From sixth through her senior year, Greenberg played basketball at HAFTR. In her junior year, the Hawks captured the Yeshiva League title and she and teammate Kayla Levinson were named tournament co-Most Valuable Players.
“Alyssa also played Stern basketball,” Stephanie said, referring to the name of the women’s college at Yeshiva University. “We grew up playing on the same team together in middle school and high school, and then college.”
Sports is a bond between all the siblings, Stephanie said. Jonathan also ran cross-country at Y.U. and played volleyball. Jake is currently on the cross-country team.
“We all have a major bond over sports since we [were] young,” Stephanie said. “We always support each other’s athletic career and attend as many games and meets as we can. We learn from each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. It is definitely something special.”
At Y.U 2011 to 2015, Greenberg scored 884 points, averaged 16.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. She stole the ball 194 times in her career and in her junior year lead the nation in steals per game with a 4.3 average.
“I love that practice pays off, and the more effort you put into training, the more results you see on the court,” she said. “I love the fast pace of the game. How you succeed if you are always one step ahead literally and figuratively, of the others. I love viewing the whole court ahead of me, fans in the crowd, pressure of the clock, and the feeling when the ball swooshes the net. It is so satisfying.”
Her running slightly overlapped basketball season. In October at Yeshiva she endured runs at 6 a.m. and hoops practice at 8 p.m.
“I cannot say that was helpful,” Greenberg said. “But because I was training and staying in shape throughout cross-country season, I was well prepared general fitness-wise for basketball season. However, long runs and short sprints and footwork do not go hand in hand, and I had to really switch my training from one sport to the other.”
Whether running through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, the Hudson Valley Sports Dome or Branch Brook Park, where Greenberg ran the program’s fastest 5K times, or playing basketball, she stood out.
“Based on her accomplishments and what I’ve heard, Stephanie is one of the premier two-sport athletes in the history of women’s athletics Y.U.,” said Greg Fox, Yeshiva University’s director of athletics. “We can certainly make a case she was our greatest cross-country runner, and was a foundational women’s basketball player.”
Greenberg said she cherishes her dual sport endeavors at Yeshiva and being named to the Hall of Fame “is a true honor.”
“I will always promote Y.U. athletics, as I feel it is such a fun and rewarding experience during college,” she said. “It allows you to have a whole other life outside the classroom and to make new friends that have the same interests.”
For information on tickets and sponsorships for the Hall of Fame, contact assistant Athletics Director Tobias Esche at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646)592-4616.