N.Y. Bar Mitzvah Boy Uses Gift Money to Transform Be'er Sheva Hoops Court

'I hope that this basketball training will give the kids the inspiration, ability, and motivation,' says 13-year-old Daniel Klosk.

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The old basketball court at Rimonim elementary school in the middle of the Be'er Sheva's tough Yud-Aleph neighborhood was transformed overnight into a stunning, brand new court last week, thanks to a new initiative by a 13-year-old boy from New York City.

Daniel Klosk, a young basketball standout, decided to donate all of his bar mitzvah gifts and money toward a basketball project for kids his age in Israel, combining both his love of basketball and the country. His contribution through the UJA-Federation of New York's "Give a Mitzvah - Do a Mitzvah" program, will also pay for free, twice-weekly advanced basketball lessons on the new court from a seasoned basketball coach to the neighborhood kids. New basketball team uniforms have already been purchased for them, according to the federation.

"I hope that this basketball training will give the kids the inspiration, ability, and motivation to successfully overcome their daily challenges," said Klosk, who plays on a nationally ranked team of the American Athletic Union and made the donation through the federation.

His New Renaissance Team finished 10th in the country at the 6th-grade AAU National Tournament. In August, Klosk won MVP of the 6th-grade game of the J.E.M. All Star Classic, and according to basketballspotlight.com, he is one of the best pure shooters in the country for his age group.

A special dedication ceremony took place Sunday, when Klosk and his parents, Tricia Kallet and Craig Klosk, joined the youth of the Yud-Aleph neighborhood to officially open the new basketball court.

The basketball court at the Rimonim school after the facelift.Credit: Ilan Halperin, UJA Federation of NY
Daniel Klosk at the ceremony on Sunday, December 30, 2012.Credit: Tomer Marciano