(April 30, 2018 / JNS) Israeli-American T.J. Leaf became the first Israeli to play in the NBA playoffs on Friday, when the Indiana Pacers put him on the court for the last three minutes of play in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series between the Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers went on to win the game, but lost the series on Sunday to the Cavaliers in Game 7.
The Tel Aviv-born Leaf, who turned 21 on Monday, scored a career high of 17 points on Oct. 20, but has not been given much time on the court since then.
The power forward rookie was selected as 18th overall pick in the first round of the NBA draft last June by the Pacers and left UCLA to pursue the opportunity after just a year in college.
Leaf’s father, Brad Leaf, played for Israel’s Maccabi and Galil Elyon basketball teams, once winning the league Most Valuable Player award.