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Klein, Ralph


KLEIN, RALPH (1931– ), Israeli basketball coach. Klein was the first coach to lead an Israeli basketball team, Macabbi Tel Aviv, to a European championship. Klein, a German-born Holocaust survivor, arrived in Israel after the end of the war. During the 1960s he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv under Coach Yehoshua *Rosen. After his retirement, he became Rosen's assistant coach and then head coach in 1969. He took the team to 11 national championships and 10 national cups. The summit of his career came in 1977, when Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European championship, defeating Italy's Mobil Girgi 78–77 in the final. On the way there Maccabi also defeated cska Moskow in a historic match played on a neutral court in view of the Soviet Union's break with Israel after the Six-Day War. Klein led the team to another three European finals. As coach of Israel's national team as well, he took it to a second-place finish in the European championships of 1979. In 1984, as coach of the German national team, he appeared at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. From 1973 he taught basketball coaching at the Wingate Institute. On Israel's 50th anniversary he was awarded the Jubilee Prize for his achievements, and in 2004 was selected as a torch bearer on Independence Day. Although in his seventies and fighting cancer, he coached a girls team that won a school championship in 2004. In 2006 he received the Israel Prize.


[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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