Katash, Oded : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Katash, Oded

The recently retired player has been appointed the general manager of Hapoel Galil Elyon, as of June 9, 2004. Since he does not posses the proper degrees, he will have an official coach under him next season. However he is expected to be the de facto coach.

Considered one of the great young stars in Israeli basketball, Katash informed Maccabi Tel Aviv in July 1998 that he planned to accept a request to play in the NBA for the New York Knicks, which would have made him the first Israeli ever to play in the NBA. Unfortunately, the NBA strike that year prevented him joining the Knicks, and he decided to play for Panathinaikos Athens in Greece instead.

Oded missed the entire 2000-01 season because of a knee injury and underwent treatment in Germany. On July 27, 2001, he was informed that Panathinaikos would not be willing to hold a roster spot for him. He was officially released in August. Most of the big European teams had already signed their stars; but the Los Angeles Lakers expressed interest in giving Katash a tryout. Because his knee was not fully recovered, Oded did not participate in the Lakers' summer camp. His agent, Moshe Krikov, told the Jerusalem Post in late June: "Phil Jackson wanted to see Oded in action in person in their camp on July. When he heard about Oded's situation, he decided that he is willing to wait another two months until Oded recovers from his knee injury, and then he wants to see him in their next camp."

One June 9, 2004 Oded announced his retirement. He was simply unable to comeback since his knee lacks the proper amount of cartilage necessary to play professionally. He lamented an obviously painful decision. In his final press conference, he announced "I have to deal with the fact that I will never play top level basketball again. This is not easy for me to discuss. Never, in my worst nightmare, did I imagine having to retire at age 29... Now I feel like an artist without paints."

Birth and Death Dates:
Oct. 10, 1974

Career Highlights:
A participant in Maccabi Tel Aviv's youth program, Katash began playing professionally as a teen-ager. In 1993-94, he joined Maccabi Ramat-Gan on loan, and immediately improved the mediocre team. He joined Maccabi Tel-Aviv for the 1995-96 season and became a starter. From 1996-1998, Katash played for Maccabi Tel Aviv, who became national champs all three years, and winner of the State Cup in 1998. At the 1997 European Championships, Katash was the star of the Israeli team, and led all scorers in the tournament with 22 points per game; that winter he was one of 20 players picked for the first-ever European All-Star game.

Known for his skill at penetrating, ball-handling, and quick and accurate shooting, Oded verbally agreed to terms with the Knicks just before the lockout in July, 1998. Unfortunately, NBA teams were prohibited from conducting business, workouts, or other formal communications with players during the lockout, so Katash decided to play in Europe instead. Oded still hopes to be the first Israeli to play in the NBA.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Physical description:

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