Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn’s Dave ‘Shorty’ Newmark is an exemplar of Jewish athletic excellence

April 17, 2023 Andy Furman
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Dave Newmark was the tallest Jew in the history of the National Basketball Association.

Now, he’s the tallest member in the Jewish Sports Heritage Association, Inc. Hall of Fame.

Newmark, a graduate of Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School and a three-year star at Columbia University played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls in 1968-69, with the Atlanta Hawks from 1969-70, and in the ABA for the Carolina Cougars, 1970-71.

The Jewish Sports Heritage Association is a not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to educate the public about the role of Jewish men and women have played, and continue to play, in the world of sports, an area of Jewish accomplishment often overlooked.

The Fifth-Annual induction ceremony is set for Sunday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Israel of Lawrence (140 Central Avenue, Lawrence, NY).

Nicknamed “Shorty,” the seven-foot Newmark had an immediate impact on Columbia’s fortunes as a sophomore in 1966 when he led the Ivy League in rebounding average (13.3, 186 rebounds in 14 games), also scoring 22.4 points-per-game, second in the conference.

Named All-America and First-Team All-Ivy League (along with teammate, senior guard Stan Felsinger), Newmark helped the Lions reach second in the conference with a 10-4 record, 18-6 overall.

After sitting out the 66-67 season with an illness, Newmark returned to the varsity just in time to pair with rising sophomores Heyward Dotson and Jim McMillian (Jefferson High School) for one of the most magical seasons in Columbia basketball history.

In 1967-68, the Lions made history, winning the ECAC Holiday Festival, tying for the Ivy League Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament on the strength of Columbia’s Big Three. With Newmark in the pivot, McMillian on the wing and Dotson in the backcourt, the Lions roared into the national top 10.

In the Lions race to the title Newmark recorded 11 double-doubles, highlighted by a 40-point, 18-rebound effort in a blowout of the Yale Bulldogs, en-route to another All-Ivy League First-Team honor.

Despite playing only two seasons – and only 48 games at Columbia – Newmark remains in the Lions top ten in rebounding, and his sophomore year scoring average of 22.9 points-per-game is the third-best in school history.

Drafted by the NBA’s Chicago Bulls with the 31st pick overall in 1968, Newmark played three seasons of pro basketball in both the NBA and ABA.

In his NBA career he scored 1,003 total points and grabbed 678 rebounds. He later played in Israel for Happel Tel Aviv during the 1973-74 and 1977-78 season.

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Other inductees include: Jerry Eskenazi, author and sportswriter; Nancy Feldman, Soccer Coach; Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, Paralympics; Mike Katz, Bodybuilding; Sherry Levin, Basketball Player and Coach; Mike Saunders, Athletic Trainer; Herb Turetzky, Basketball Scorer and Abel Kiviat, Track and Field.

The Marty Riger Outstanding Jewish Coach of the Year Award will be presented to Elliot Steinmetz, Yeshiva University head basketball coach.

Mike Saunders, a graduate of Newtown High School, Queens, served as head athletic trainer for the New York Knicks from 1978-2005. He has recently written a collection of notes and quotes in “Life Sentence.”

Herb Turetzky, a Thomas Jefferson grad, fell in love with the then New Jersey Americans when they were in the ABA and played in the Teaneck (NJ) Armory. He was pressed into service as a senior at LIU – while attending a game – to serve as scorekeeper.

He kept that position for over 2,040 games – some 1,355 consecutively – before he passed last year.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR


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