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July 29, 2011

International Basketball Experience Benefits Yale's Kreisberg

2011 Men's U20 European Championship: Website | Kreisberg's Bio

Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale rising sophomore Jeremiah Kreisberg hasn't had a typical summer basketball experience. Kreisberg, who started all 14 Ivy League games for the Bulldogs last year and was the recipient of the team's John C. Cobb Award as rookie of the year, played with Israel at the recently concluded Under-20 European Championships.

"The games gave me a rare opportunity to play in high-level, organized games during the summer, which definitely helped me work on many aspects of my game," said Kreisberg, a Berkeley, Calif., native, who was granted dual-citizenship shortly after returning home for the summer. "Playing against much bigger guys helped me improve defensively, and practicing every day has kept me in good condition for the upcoming [Yale] season."

Kreisberg headed to Tel-Aviv in June, spent three weeks training with the Israel team and took part in the team's preparation tour through Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. At the European Championship, Kreisberg played in six games (he missed the last two games with a minor injury) and averaged 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, while averaging nearly 30 minutes per game. He led the team in scoring and was second in rebounding at the European Championship.

"The level of play was high," said Kreisberg, who scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Iceland. "Many of the players were professionals. The style was much more pick and roll dominant than the college game, and with the shorter shot clock, the play was faster."

The games were held in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Kreisberg said he was able to do a little sightseeing but most of his time was spent in the hotel. Security was tight.

"We traveled everywhere with police escorts and private security from Israel," Kreisberg said. "Before we got on the bus every day, they checked it for bombs, which the first time made me a little nervous, but there was nothing close to an incident. All of my teammates were used to the extra security and made fun of me for worrying."

Kreisberg is looking forward to the upcoming Yale season. He will be coming off a freshman season that saw him finish fifth on the team in scoring (7.2 rpg.) and second in rebounding (4.5 rpg.) while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. He was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week twice and scored in double figures in five of the last eight games of the season.