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Basketball Fri Jan 25 2013

University of Illinois to Honor Former Hoops Star


Tal Brody has come a long way since his time as a child in 1940s Trenton, NJ. Considered to be Israel's first modern-day sports hero, the former University of Illinois star point guard will have his jersey number (12) raised to the rafters at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when the Fighting Illini host the Purdue Boilermakers. The game is set to tip off at 8pm (CST).

Brody will also be honored during the NBA's All-Star weekend in Houston, TX, as he will be inducted into the league's Hall of Fame for international play. Brody was selected 13th overall in the 1965 NBA draft (the old Baltimore Bullets, for those playing at home), but instead decided to stay at U of I to get his master's degree. Brody eventually flew overseas to play for Israel's Maccabi-Tel Aviv, which he led to a second place finish in the European Cup Basketball Championships.

After his basketball career, which included a gold medal in the Maccabiah Games, and officially being named a citizen of Israel, Brody focused his attention on youth basketball programs, including his "Let's Play Basketball" clinic. Brody is also involved philanthropically with Spirit of Israel, which is geared at helping underprivileged children.

You can bet the 6-foot, 1-1/2-inch Brody will be standing even taller with pride on the night of the thirteenth in Champaign. He's still ranked 33rd on Illinois' all-time scoring list, and still lends a hand with outreach programs. Not a bad résumé.

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