Northwestern freshman forward Aaron Liberman may have only played one minute during the 74-51 loss to Michigan on Jan. 5, but he still managed to make Big Ten Conference History. The 6-foot-10 Los Angeles native became the first Big Ten player to wear a kippah on the court, and is also the only Orthodox Jew playing college basketball. Before the season started, Liberman called his hometown rabbi to ask about playing on Shabbos.
“He said just playing basketball isn’t in the spirit of the Sabbath but it isn’t against the Sabbath,” Liberman told the JT, adding he has to make sure he’s walking distance from the arena he’s playing in. “On Shabbos, I can’t get into the locker room by myself because there’s an electronic key code, so I have to wait for someone else to get me in.”
Liberman, however, isn’t the first player to wear a kippah during a Division I game. That title hits close to home: Former Towson University guard Tamir Goodman, nicknamed the “Jewish Jordan,” wore won when he played in 2000 and 2001.