Ezra Sicklick, a Woodmere native and former Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys student has found his place on the Yeshiva University men’s basketball team.
Sicklick, a junior at Yeshiva University and grandson to Marc Sicklick, a Cedarhurst based allergist, joined the Maccabees as a walk-on in September.
“I’ve always been passionate about basketball,” Ezra said. “I’ve always loved doing it, realistically in college, basketball wasn’t on my mind. I took two gap years, when I got back, I played a bunch of pickup games with family, friends and decided to try out.”
He believes showed strength in the tryout with his basketball knowledge and strong defensive skills, despite not having the height of the other athletes.
“I’m 5-foot-10, I’m obviously not the biggest man on the team,” Sicklick said.
The school in upper Manhattan is part of the Division III Skyline Conference, competing against Mount Saint Mary College in New York, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Sarah Lawrence College, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Manhattanville College, St. Joseph’s University in Brooklyn, St. Joseph’s University on Long Island, Purchase College, The College at Old Westbury, Farmingdale State College and Maritime College. Yeshiva University also competes against schools from the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Atlantic East Conference, the Commonwealth Coast Conference and others.
Coach Elliot Steinmetz, who lives in Woodmere, has led the team for 10 years. His favorite part of coaching is the student athletes he has the chance to work with, he wrote in an email.
“They are great people to be around, competitive, respectful and caring,” Steinmetz wrote.
After just a few weeks of coaching Sicklick, he sees potential in his shooting ability.
“The hope is we can continue to develop that tool at the college level,” Steinmetz wrote about the athlete’s skill. “He’s a hard worker who is passionate about the game, he adds a level of intensity and maturity as well.”
Sicklick hopes to carry on an attitude of improvement at every practice and throughout the season.
“On a personal level I’m hoping to build up my endurance and build up my stamina, hopefully get in the best shape of my life,” he said.
Avrum Stein coached Sicklick during his junior and senior seasons at DRS.
“He’s the kind of kid you want to have on your team,” Stein said. “He leaves it all out on the floor, he’s a very hard worker.”
Sicklick is studying mathematics at Y.U. and computer science and coding in his free time.
“I love Yeshiva University, I genuinely love it, the environment here, being surrounded by people that are like minded, it’s a family, it’s a community,” he said. “I feel I’m being afforded incredible opportunities in my math and Judaic, religious studies.”
Since the start of his collegiate athletic career, Sicklick enjoys the push to improve his time management. Recently, he feels pride in playing for an all-Jewish team considering the conflict taking place in Israel.
“I appreciate being on the team because I feel like I’m playing for something bigger right now,” Sicklick said. “Were going out there many of us, whether its from religious or non-religious background, we’re showing that were religious, we’re Jewish and were showing that were a family and we can succeed as a unit.”