Three student athletes from The Weber School will travel to Israel next summer to compete at the 2022 Maccabiah Games.
The multinational sporting event, held quadrennially in Israel, celebrates Jewish unity, culture, and heritage through athletic competition. First established in 1932, the Maccabiah Games are the third-largest sporting event in the world, with 10,000 athletes competing.
Weber School senior Aaron Bock, 17, will be competing as part of the Maccabiah USA 18U Baseball Team and basketball, junior Caleb Ouanounou, 17, will be part of the 18U Boys basketball team, and sophomore Harry Kitey, 15, will be part of the 16U Boys Basketball Team.
“I’m really excited to represent my country in Israel along with a great and talented team,” Ouanounou said. “I look forward to competing for a gold medal in a place that’s really special to me. I’m most looking forward to bonding with my teammates and playing at a very competitive level.”
The players will be competing in the 21st Maccabiah Games, or the “Jewish Olympics,” an event put on hold the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are scheduled for July 12 through July 26, 2022.
“I am so unbelievably grateful to be able to experience the opportunity with a really good group of talented guys,” Bock said. “It will definitely be a slight adjustment since we will be competing together after only practicing for about a week but I know for a fact that we will take care of business and bring home the gold for our country. Without a doubt, I am most excited to play in an environment that combines my two worlds: baseball and Judaism.”
Kitey also expressed his excitement to compete in the games and connect with Jewish athletes form across the world.
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity to bring together all the sides of my world – my love of basketball and Israel,” Kitey said. “Having the chance to wear U.S.A. across my chest while representing my country and community is something that will stay with me for my whole life. Having had the chance to talk with other players and coaches who participated in past Maccabiah Games, one of the things I’m most excited about is the chance to build a connection in Israel with Jewish athletes from all over the world. I know those connections will last me my entire life.”
In summer 2022, competitions will take place in Haifa, Jerusalem, Netanya and Tel Aviv. The Games are open to Jewish athletes from around the world. The U.S. is one of 80 countries sending over 10,000 athletes who will compete in 39 sports.