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Talbot "Tal" Brody, nicknamed “Mr. Basketball” is an American-Israeli former professional basketball player and current Goodwill Ambassador of Israel. He played on national basketball teams of both the United States and Israel, and served in the armies of both countries.
A New Jersey All Star basketball player in high school, Brody led his team to an undefeated state championship. At the Univ of Illinois, he was a high-scoring, slick-passing All-American point guard and was the 12th pick in the 1965 NBA draft. Before the NBA season started, he traveled to Israel, where he led the America team to a gold medal in the 1965 Maccabiah Games. He was then convinced by Moshe Dayan and others to move to Israel to help elevate the country's basketball team and morale, so instead of an NBA career, he played basketball for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
In 1977, he led his team to the FIBA European Champions Cup (now called EuroLeague) championship. Along the way, his team defeated the heavily favored Soviet Red Army team, CSKA Moscow. Brody's famous remark upon beating the Soviets: "We are on the map! And we are staying on the map – not only in sports, but in everything." – became a part of Israeli culture. It has been used for decades, in various contexts, from political speeches, to National Lottery commercials.
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