Macs Star Gabe Leifer Will Play in Upcoming Season as Macs Hold 36-Game Win Streak
Gabe Leifer (SSSB ‘21), last year’s star player of the Yeshiva University Maccabees Basketball Team, is returning to play for the team’s 2021-22 season. While no longer an undergraduate student at YU, Leifer is allowed to play for the Macs due to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) extending player’s eligibility an extra year.
In March 2021, after the Macs beat the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks Basketball Team 88-70, the team’s active win streak stood at 36, tied for the second-longest record in Division III history. Due to unclear reasons, the Macs’ last three games of Spring 2021 were unexpectedly canceled.
Last year, it seemed Leifer would move on from the team once he was no longer an undergraduate at YU. However, the NCAA Division III committee ruled last year that the 2020-21 season — which was heavily truncated for many schools, including YU — would not count toward an athlete’s four years of eligibility. Therefore, Leifer is allowed to play this year, which will be his fifth season with the Macs.
Leifer’s ongoing enrollment at YU is specifically what enables him to continue to play for the Macs after graduating from Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB). While working full time for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a tax associate, he is enrolled in YU’s real estate master’s program. This two-year program is part of SSSB and is completely online.
To announce his return, Leifer tweeted a GIF of Kobe Bryant on Sep. 17 saying “Job’s finished? I don’t think so.” To Leifer and the rest of the Macs, “the job” is winning the tournament they never got the chance to finish back in 2020.
The Macs have a full schedule set for this season, with the team’s first game set for Oct. 27 against The College of New Jersey.
Leifer has been a member of the YU Macs Basketball Team since Spring 2018. During his time on the team, the Macs won the Skyline Championship twice and made it to the sweet sixteen in March 2020 before the tournament was shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He was named the Skyline Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season and was selected for the D3hoops.com All American fourth team for the 2019-20 season. Over his three and a half years on the court, he scored more than 1,000 total points and racked up 973 rebounds. Leifer and teammate Ryan Turrell have been the bedrock of a team, which has not lost once in 22 months, and has a winning streak of 36 straight games dating back to November 2019.
In the 2020-21 season, the Macs were only able to play seven games and could not have fans in the stands. They won their games, but their season ended without much fanfare, as both the Skyline Championship and the Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament were cancelled.
“We really have one goal this year and that’s to make history,” said Macs forward Alon Jakubowitz (SSSB ‘22). “We as a team have very high expectations for ourselves, and what we want to accomplish can’t be done without veteran leadership. Gabe and our team captains have us locked in and we couldn’t be more excited to get to work.”
Leifer, Turrell and guard Ofek Reef should make for an impressive squad that will be tough to beat. The Macs look to improve their streak to 37 straight on Oct. 27.
As of publication, Leifer and Macs Coach Elliot Steinmetz did not respond to The Commentator’s request for a comment.
Photo Caption: Leifer has scored over 1,000 points throughout his time on the Macs.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University Athletics