Committed to both her athletic career and her Orthodox faith, Naama Shafir faced challenges alien to most basketball players, from walking to games on Shabbat to altering uniforms for modesty. Shafir began playing for her local girls league in fourth grade, and was recruited by the University of Toledo at age eighteen. As the first Orthodox Jewish woman on a Division I college team, Shafir got a special dispensation to play on Shabbat and had to find ways to alter her uniforms to meet Orthodox rules of modesty without breaking regulations. Her team was also supportive, not scheduling practice or travel on Shabbat. In 2011 she scored 40 points in a game against the University of Southern California, earning victory for Toledo and MVP status for herself at the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The following year, she suffered a knee injury in the opening minutes of a game, earning a medical “redshirt” that allowed her to play an extra year. After graduating in 2013, she returned to Israel, and as of 2015 still plays guard for Elitzur Ramle.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Naama Shafir." (Viewed on December 2, 2023) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shafir-naama>.