In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Jewish Community Center is bringing back a beloved institution, the JCC Athletic Hall of Fame. Max Behr, Darren Erman and Peyton Greenberg will be inducted at the Monday, July 27 event, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the JCC.
In addition to his induction to the Hall of Fame, Erman, assistant head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans and Louisville native, will be the keynote speaker.
Erman is well known as a coach with great defensive prowess. Some have even called him a whiz at it. The announcement of his appointment by the Celtics came on June 2 after a stint with the Boston Celtics.
Erman coached at Brandeis and Emory universities and one of the most famous basketball schools, St. Anthony’s in New Jersey. At both St. Anthony and Brandeis, he worked as a volunteer while earning his living as a lawyer, because he wanted to learn from some of the nation’s best basketball coaches.
He also volunteered at Camp Seeds of Peace in Maine, a program that brings together Palestinian, Israeli and American Jewish youths interested in pursuing peace. There, he met several NBA players. He began working them out, and made contacts with the Celtics, and the management took notice of his work, eventually giving him a paid position with the NBA.
In 2011, he was hired by the Golden State Warriors. After his time ended in Golden State, the Celtics scooped him up and made him director of scouting, where he stayed until this month.
Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry said of Erman, “He’ll be (at the team facility) 23 out of 24 hours of the day,” Fox Sports reported on June 23.
Event co-chair Mark Eichengreen lived next door to Erman when he was 25 and Erman was about 8 or 10. The two used to play basketball together.
“He was a funny little kid,” Eichengreen said. “I was about three feet taller than him. He was a good kid, and I played pretty tough on him.”
Eichengreen remembers that Erman always dreamed of being a coach.
“The sky is the limit for Darren,” he said. “He’s got a lot of potential, and he’s an up-and-coming star.”
Max Behr and Peyton Greenberg
Max Behr is being honored for his years as a tennis player in the age divisions of 45, 50, 55 and 60s. The retired dentist has won multiple international gold, silver and bronze medals in the Maccabi games and the Pan Am Games. He is also a lifetime contributor to Jewish Athletics.
Peyton Greenberg is an international Maccabiah gold and silver medal swimming champion. She has placed in top 25 in the United States and world championship trials. She will attend Northwestern University this fall on a swimming scholarship. The recent graduate of duPont Manual High School also teaches swimming at the JCC.
Check the next issue of Community for more information about these two athletes.
The Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame, created in the 1990’s recognizes past and current members of the Louisville Jewish community for their athletic achievements or future stardom. Past award winners have included high school state champions, athletes who have gone on to compete on a collegiate or even professional level.
“The JCC Athletic Hall of Fame is our way of acknowledging that important athletes often get their start at the JCC and we as a community should be proud of that,” said Mark Eichengreen, co-chair of the JCC Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.
Co-chair Aaron Tasman agreed. “We just wished to bring it back and celebrate the success and accomplishments of the Jewish Community of Louisville and those who support the Jewish Community of Louisville,” he said. “We have a lot of people that have gone on to some great accomplishments.”
There will be a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception. Cost is $18 per person. Reserve your place online at https://jewishlouisville.org/event/jcc-athletic-hall-of-fame-reception/ by July 20.
The reception is co-chaired by Mark Eichengreen and Aaron Tasman. Committee members include Ken Porco, Jon Fleischaker, Bruce Miller, Marvin O’Koon and Dan Streit.