Tamir Goodman, once dubbed the “Jewish Jordan” while regularly churning out 35-point games for Talmudical Academy of Baltimore from 1996-1999, went on to reach the highest level of professional basketball in Israel. Now, he’s making his mark on the sport as an entrepreneur.
Goodman, 35, is the inventor of a training device for players called the Zone190. The inspiration for his invention came out of the realization that his playing days were coming to an end and his desire to help in the development of younger players.
He recalls standing on the baseline eight years ago, sizing up a 3-pointer, all alone. After playing briefly for Towson University (he had orally committed to Maryland but later changed his mind), as well as five teams in Israel and the Maryland Nighthawks of the Premier Basketball League, Goodman was no longer with a team, but he wasn’t ready to leave the hardwood.
“I had that dark moment in the gym, thinking I might never be able to play professionally again, and kind of coming up with the realization that that might really be true,” said Goodman, who suffered two knee injuries in his career.
Without coaches or teammates at the gym to feed him passes, his training lacked an authentic game feel. Use of a traditional bounce-back device was one dimensional, offering passes straight back to the source.
“My coach won’t get me the rebounds,” Goodman said, “and if I use one of these devices that already exists, it’s not really game-like, because if I’m standing in the corner … the ball wouldn’t come to me from the angle of the net, I’d be coming off a down-screen usually and the ball would be coming from the wing.”
Working in the gym, he thought to himself, “Well, I’m never going to be able to play again, how can I help the next generation of players?”
Top photo courtesy of Tamir Goodman.
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