Chicago Colleges: Aaron Liberman

Liberman bringing yarmulke back to court

December, 5, 2012
Beren AcademyAP Photo/LM OteroBeren Academy in Houston has players' names and uniform numbers on their yarmulkes.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown Saturday. But there's already cause for celebration among Jewish basketball fans thanks to Aaron Liberman, a freshman walk-on at Northwestern who also happens to be an Orthodox Jew. He hasn't yet appeared in a game this season because of a nasty case of shin splints, but he's easy to spot on the bench: He's the one wearing a yarmulke.

When Liberman is eventually given medical clearance to make his Northwestern debut, which he expects will be "pretty soon," he plans to wear his yarmulke on the court. (Northwestern is making two versions for him -- purple and white for home games, and purple and black for the road.) That will make him only the second yarmulke-clad player in Division I basketball history. The first such player was Tamir Goodman, the much-hyped "Jewish Jordan," who played for Towson in 2000 and 2001. But disagreements with a new coach derailed Goodman's college basketball career early in his sophomore year, leaving Division I hard courts yarmulke-free until Liberman's arrival this season.

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Liberman joins Northwestern as walk-on

August, 29, 2012
Freshman center Aaron Liberman has been added to Northwestern’s roster as a walk-on this season, Wildcats coach Bill Carmody announced on Wednesday.

Liberman, a 6-10, 215-pound center, spent last year in Israel. He averaged 17.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 8.7 blocks for Valley Torah High School in California during his senior year in 2010-2011.

"We are thrilled to officially announce the addition of Aaron Liberman to our 2012-13 recruiting class," Carmody said. "Aaron had a tremendous opportunity to spend a year abroad studying and playing in Israel. He has made excellent strides to develop his body and to hone his skills on the court. He will be a great addition to our revamped frontcourt."

Liberman joins a freshman class that also includes 6-6 forward Kale Abrahamson, 7-2 center Chier Ajou, 6-6 swingman Sanjay Lumpkin and 7-0 center Alex Olah.

Northwestern went 19-14 overall, 8-10 in the Big Ten and reached their fourth consecutive NIT last season. The Wildcats return five of their top seven scorers.



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