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Exploring hoop dreams and faith at Yeshiva University

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Maccabees men’s basketball forwards Kevin Bokor, left, and Daniel Katz attend rabbinical class at Yeshiva University in New York, Feb. 18, 2020. – AP Photo / Jessie Wardarski

Reporter Luis Andres Henao, video journalist Jessie Wardarski and producer Emily Leshner spent hundreds of hours with the Yeshiva University basketball team as AP’s religion team looked at how Yeshiva navigates the world of college athletics while facing misperceptions of who they are as Jews – and even outright anti-Semitism, sometimes on the court. The New York-based trio delivered a deeply reported all-formats package as the Maccabees went on a historic run and won their conference championship.

AP was there for the games, but also for classes, meals, family time, dorm time and a wedding. The relationship and trust built with the team became even more valuable as the team endures a new challenge: A Yeshiva student, not on the team, tested positive for the coronavirus, causing the team to be banned from a Baltimore hotel.
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