Video credit: Omer Benovici, Natan Skop
He’s got his father’s lanky build, but Darryl Eugene Strawberry, known as D.J., son of renowned Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry, has always focused on basketball.
“I’ve never really been interested in baseball, I’ve always been a basketball fan,” says D.J. “Whenever I was in New York, I just wanted to go to Knicks games to watch Michael Jordan.”
After playing for the Maryland Terrapins in college and the NBA D-league, Strawberry decided to try his luck outside of the U.S. He has played for Italy and Lithuania and arrived in Israel in September, recruited by then-coach Oded Katash to play point guard for Hapoel Jerusalem.
It’s been an interesting season so far, says D.J., despite a series of losses and the fact that coach Katash quit in December. D.J. finds that playing with non-Americans “brings out the best in him,” particularly after the months in Lithuania, where English speakers were hard to find and the basketball was slower.
“You’re obviously going to deal with cultural issues and language barriers, including whether the coach gets you or not, but it’s been pretty easy for me here,” says DJ, who likes the faster Israeli game. “This is probably one of the best places I’ve played.”