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    Jamila Wideman

    Jew Score:
    9

    I3

    O3

    K3
    October 16, 1975 —

    If we want to find the first Jew who ever played in the NBA, that would be pretty simple. We already profiled him: Ossie Schectman, he scored the first basket in NBA history!

    (Well, it's not that simple. Ossie's Knicks had six Jews on them, and they all played in that opening game. Yes, six Jews on one professional basketball team. It was a different time. Let's just say that Ossie was first and move on.)

    To find the first Jew who played in the WNBA, it's even simpler than that. (No competing Jewish teammates here!) The first game in the league's history took place June 21, 1997, and featured the New York Liberty against the Los Angeles Sparks (two teams which somehow remain to this day). Starting for the Sparks was Jamila Wideman, who scored four points in that game.

    Wideman, whose father is African-American novelist John Edgar Wideman and whose mother is Jewish, played at Stanford and was the third overall pick of the inaugural WNBA draft. She played four years in the league, but didn't exactly distinguish herself.

    Jamila is currently the Vice President of Player Development for the entire NBA. We'll let you decide if that's more important than being the first Jew in WNBA history.

    Verdict: Jew.

    May 19, 2023

    See Also

    Sue Bird

    Alysha Clark

    Nancy Lieberman

    Rebecca Lobo

    Ossie Schectman
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2023.