Morning Brief: Change In The NBA, A Renewed St. Patrick’s Day Party, And ‘The Black Beverly Hills’
Good morning, L.A. It’s March 18.
March Madness is upon us. And while the best teams in the country are fun to watch, it's the underdogs we revel in. They overcome odds and make history, giving little guys and longshots something to aspire to.
Two NCAA tiers down, in Divsion III, there’s another odds-beater who’s set to make history — Ryan Turell. The L.A. native could become the first Orthodox Jewish player in NBA history.
Turell, who is 6”7’, is currently the leading scorer in all of college basketball. Yesterday, he was named the DIII National Player of the Year. Earlier this week, he declared for the NBA draft.
Before graduating from Valley Torah High School in the San Fernando Valley, Turell was recruited by several Division I powerhouses, reports my colleague Zoe Kurland. Instead, he chose to attend Yeshiva University in New York City, wanting to set an example for other Jewish children.
His father, Brad Turell, handles press for Ryan and said that his son told him: "I want to be a Jewish hero to kids who are going to look up to me, and show them that you can stay true to your religion and stay true to your convictions, and still fulfill all your potential in life, including athletically.
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Valley Torah High’s athletic director, Lior Schwartzberg, said that Turell could represent “another fabric of the American dream.”
He would be “another thread of representation that can go into other facets of life to see that this is what makes this country great,” said Schwartzberg. “You can do anything."
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Gas prices have gone up over 5 cents in L.A. County since last week.
- An encampment of unhoused people at Little Tokyo's Toriumi Plaza is being cleared out for, according to Councilmember Kevin De León's office, "electrical repairs, permanent fencing, landscaping" and other work.
- Tam O'Shanter, a century-old pub on Los Feliz Boulevard, revived their annual St. Patrick’s Day party after two years off for the pandemic.
- If you’re ready to go electric when it comes to your car, here are some tips when looking for a new vehicle.
- An uptick in BA.2 omicron subvariant infections has L.A. health officials on alert.
- This weekend, Jewish communities across the country will be marking the 100th anniversary of that first American bat mitzvah.
- Two years into the pandemic, American children are suffering unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression.
Before You Go ... How Baldwin Hills Became 'The Black Beverly Hills'
The rolling hills in South Los Angeles known as Baldwin Hills include wealthy and middle-class neighborhoods like Baldwin Hills Estates, Ladera Heights, Baldwin Vista, and View Park. They’ve been dubbed “The Black Beverly Hills” thanks to the efforts of affluent Black residents who made this neighborhood theirs starting in the 1920s.