Slam Dunk: Celebrate March Madness
with Jewish National Fund-USA


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

7:30 pm (ET) / 6:30 pm (CT)


About the Event

Join JNF on Campus and Illini Hillel to celebrate March Madness as Jewish National Fund-USA Board Member Scott Gendell interviews former American-Israeli basketball star Deon Thomas. Scott and Deon will discuss Deon's upbringing on Chicago's West Side, his esteemed basketball career specifically playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and his relationship to Judaism. Zoom info provided upon registration.

Guest Speakers


Deon Thomas

American-Israeli Former Basketball Player


Deon Thomas serves as an analyst for the Big Ten Network and Fighting Illini Sports Network. He finished his college career at University of Illinois as the school’s all-time leader in points and finished second in rebounds.


Thomas was the first pick of the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks before opting to start a highly successful 14-year international pro career in six different countries. He helped Maccabi Tel Aviv win the Israel championship, the Israeli Cup, and the Euroleague championship twice as one of the most successful American pros of all time in the European leagues.


Scott H. Gendell, Esq.

Vice President, College Engagement


Scott Gendell (Chicago, IL) is the President of Wilmette, IL-based Terraco, Inc., a shopping center development and management firm he founded in 1985. A supporter of reservoir development in Israel through JNF, he led a mission to Israel in 2003 with the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon. Scott serves on the board of the Illinois Holocaust Museum as well as the advisory board of the Jewish Studies Department of his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.