By: Rina Shamilov  | 

Yuval Nitzan Breaks All Time Scoring Record for YU’s Women’s Basketball Team

Yuval Nitzan (SSSB ‘23), captain of the YU Maccabees women's basketball team, broke YU’s women’s basketball scoring record in a game against St. Joseph’s Golden Eagles Feb. 15 with a career total of 1,160 points, surpassing former teammate Michal Alge’s (SCW ‘19) previous record of 1,159 points.

Despite Nitzan’s performance of 13 points, the game was a 68–58 loss for YU at Nat Holman Gymnasium. Three days later, the team lost to the College of Mount Saint Vincent, which prevented them from making it into their first-ever Skyline Conference Championships. Nitzan’s score total currently stands at 1,174. 

The shots that gave Nitzan her high score were two free throws after drawing a foul in the final 12 seconds of the game.

Nitzan, originally from Hod Hasharon, Israel, told The Commentator that she has been playing basketball since she was 8 years old. Since then, she’s played for multiple teams in Israel, including the women’s national team, and continued to play the sport while serving in the IDF.

Numerous colleges extended invitations to Nitzan before she selected YU.

“I had offers from colleges in West Virginia, New Jersey and YU,” said Nitzan. “I went on a college tour with my father and I decided that YU is the best option for me.”

Nitzan could not be more glad with her college decision, because playing for YU helps “[me] represent my country … [and] I became close to the team. We became a little family,” she shared.

Team captain for three years, the 5’6 senior recognizes the importance of working together as a team.

“We know that to win games we have to play together, as a team,” Nitzan said. “That’s what we did this year. From a team that barely won games last season, we almost made the playoffs … We lost our last game, but we still grew. And I couldn’t be more proud. Or happy.”

“We practice every night,” Nitzan shared. “And we have school. It’s a big commitment, and not everyone will be able to do it — only the players who truly love the game.” 

Nitzan’s accomplishments and her new score record drew praise from YU Director of Athletics Greg Fox.

“Yuval has cemented herself as one of the greatest players in YU women's basketball history,” Fox told The Commentator. “Her overall skillset is phenomenal, and most importantly, she’s an outstanding human being; she is the embodiment of what we want in a student-athlete at YU. She’s a terrific young woman and I’m hopeful we’ll have her one more year.”

Nitzan hopes to graduate this year with a double-major in finance and business strategy & entrepreneurship and apply for a Masters in cybersecurity from YU’s Katz School of Science and Health while continuing to play for the Maccabees. The NCAA extended student-athlete eligibility due to the pandemic, which allows Nitzan, who played in the 2020-’21 season, to play one more year.

"I'm honored and proud to become the YU all-time leading scorer," Nitzan told YU’s athletics department. "These four years were and still are the best years of my life. I couldn't be happier to do what I love. I've been playing basketball since I was young and reaching this milestone means a lot to me.”

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Photo Caption: Yuval Nitzan broke the YU Maccabees women’s basketball record last month.

Photo Credit: Emuna Shiller