Summer updates: Orel Lev will serve in Israel’s military
Orel Lev, who is considered part of the incoming class of new recruits, will not be able to play for the Hawai’i basketball team for the next three years because of an obligation to serve in Israel’s military.
Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said Lev was called to duty for his home country just last week, and will not be allowed to petition for a delay.
“It’s mandatory in Israel … there’s some times where they can push it back and he was hopeful he could push it back,” Arnold said. “But they told him he has to do it now, and so he’s unable to leave the country for the next three years.”
Lev, a 6-foot-4 guard, was actually enrolled at UH for one semester, and was able to practice with the team for the second half of the 2011-12 season. He would have been a freshman in the 2012-13 season.
Lev is currently playing with Israel’s junior national team, and will be allowed to play for other teams in Israel throughout his military stint. He averaged around 25 points and five assists per game for his Ironi Tet high school in Israel during the 2010-11 season.
“It’s unfortunate for us – he’s a tough kid and a good basketball player,” Arnold said. “I think he would have developed. He would have only been a freshman, but he would have developed into a good player … we’ll have a chance three years from now. We might be able to get 21-year-old freshman three years from now.”
Lev would be considered an open recruit when he becomes eligible again in 2015, and Arnold said: “We’ll address that at that time.” There is also a possibility that Lev may want to play professional basketball in Israel after his military stint.
“That’s three years down the road,” Arnold noted.
Lev’s hiatus means there will be another open scholarship for the 2012-13 season. Arnold said he will likely “sit on it and hold it for next year.”
Arnold also noted that the departure will not affect the team’s Academic Progress Rate because Lev was in solid academic standing, and the NCAA does not penalize programs for losing student-athletes to military service.
Here is the link to the official announcement from UH:
In other updates:
• Arnold said he is still looking at “a couple of guys who we really like” for an open scholarship for the 2012-13 season. “Gonna wait a little bit on the academics as far as summer school and the finishing of summer school, things like that. We’ve got identified who we really, really like and we’re pulling for them academically to get it taken care of with the NCAA and get enrolled in school. And if not, then we’ll keep it for next year. We want to make sure we get the right fit.”
• After a one-year hiatus, the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic will return in 2012. The dates and teams for the 2012 Classic were announced on Tuesday. The four-team tournament will follow a round-robin format, and is scheduled for November 9, 11 and 12 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The three teams joining Hawai’i in this year’s field are Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Houston Baptist, and Maryland-Eastern Shore. Hawai’i’s November 12 game against Houston Baptist will likely be a late-night start as part of ESPN’s “College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.”
The Rainbow Classic started in 1964, and was changed from an eight-team tournament to a four-team tournament in 2009. It was not held last year due to scheduling issues.
Here is the schedule:
Nov. 9: Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Houston Baptist; Hawai’i vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore
Nov. 11: Houston Baptist vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore; Hawai’i vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nov. 12: Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Hawai’i vs. Houston Baptist
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