Moskowitz, who received his nicknamed in high school because he ate jam sandwiches before games to settle his stomach, was one of the best Jewish players in the 1920s. He later became an outstanding high school coach and a college referee. He officiated many important games at Madison Square Garden in the 1940s.
Birth and Death Dates:
Moskowitz first established his reputation playing in the schoolyards of his native Brooklyn. After leading Commerce High to the 1923 PSAL title while being named to the Brooklyn Eagle's all-borough team, Jammy began playing professionally in 1924. He joined the Knights of St. Anthony's of the Metropolitan League and then joined Davey Banks and Nat Krinsky on the Nonpareils, a Jewish club from Brooklyn. As Moskowitz's reputation and skills grew, he was recruited for the newly-formed American Basketball League by legend Marty Friedman, with an invitation to play for the Cleveland Rosenblums. Although Jammy turned down the offer, he kept very busy over the next few years playing. In 1926-27, he played for 7 teams and became known as one of the greatest Jewish players in the game. In 1928-29, he played in the ABL for the New York Hakoahs (known as a Jewish team) and finished among the top third in the league in scoring with 99 points in 25 games.
Although Jammy was a great player, he was better known as a high school coach, a position he took on while still playing the game. In 1925, he began coaching at James Madison High School in New York City, a position he would hold for three decades. He won the city title in 1939 and 1943, coaching future NBA star Rudy LaRusso and other college players. He said: "If I would have to point to one thing I am most proud of it would have to be the percentage of my boys who went to college and later turned out to be successful in their chosen profession. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, and businessmen were helped by basketball, and that makes everything so worthwhile." Moskowitz is a member of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame, and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. His 1938-39 James Madison championship team is also inducted in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.
Brooklyn, New York
Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Ellis Island to Ebbets Field, by Peter Levine (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)