The Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut and The RAIN on Water Event Space would like to recognize 14-year-old Sammy Teplitsky as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The eighth grader at SAR Academy had 18 points and 15 rebounds in a huge win against Moriah last month and the Sting are a perfect 10-0, as they head into the playoffs. Coach Ken Gleason told the JLNJ, “Sammy is the anchor of our defense. He protects the basket which gives our guards the opportunity to take chances and be aggressive looking for steals. On the offensive end Sammy is a handful in the paint. Sammy is a tremendous athlete for his size. His offensive skill set continues to improve.”
Sammy, congratulations on another great season. Who is your role model and why?
My dad. He is my biggest fan, comes to all my games and has been coaching me in basketball, baseball and hockey since I started playing sports. He has a great way of getting players to be their best and giving them the confidence they need.
What is your favorite sport?
Asking me what my favorite sport is, is equivalent to asking a parent which child they love the most. I really enjoy all sports—playing and watching.
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
Winning three games on the same day back to back—all star game (basketball), SARFHL (hockey) and KLL (baseball). I was completely exhausted but pushed through it all.
What is your earliest sports memory?
Playing hockey in the hallway of our old apartment building and breaking all the lights.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
At the moment it’s Nikola Joki because we have similar playing styles and he also likes to joke around. Recently, I also get really hyped when my teammate Aaron Love scores.
What is your favorite sports memory?
I got to be the stick boy for the Rangers when I was younger, which was really fun. Got to meet the team and high five all the players.
What is your pregame routine?
I definitely need to stretch. If not, I feel it afterward. Need to make sure I have on the right sweatband, that is key.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing sports?
If I am not taking a nap, I am out for a run or grilling a steak.
What is your weirdest sports memory?
While shooting a foul shot recently the ref told us to check our laces. I looked down to check mine but my shoes don’t have any.
What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?
I don’t think of myself as a Sportstar. In the end, it is about the team. I really love playing with the boys on the Sting team and in Camp Lavi. We have been playing together for so long. We just get out on the court, have fun, cheer each other on and bring out the best in each other.