Former wheelchair basketball player killed crossing street in Tel Aviv

Akiva Katz, a disabled IDF vet, dies after being struck by a Hummer

Akiva Katz (Screen capture: Channel 10)
Akiva Katz (Screen capture: Channel 10)

A disabled military veteran who was a member of Israel’s wheelchair basketball team was killed Wednesday after being struck by a car when crossing the street in Tel Aviv.

Akiva Katz, 69, was fatally injured when he was hit by a Hummer in northern Tel Aviv. Police opened an investigation into the incident and the driver of the car was detained for questioning.

As a member of the national wheelchair basketball team, Katz represented Israel at the Stoke Mandeville tourney in Holland in 1981, according to the Ynet news site, which takes place in years the Paralympics do not.

Israel’s wheelchair basketball team won gold at the 1980 Paralympics.

Katz also played basketball for many years at the Beit Halochem in Tel Aviv, which provides wounded Israel Defense Forces veterans with rehabilitation services.

“He was a good person, a very colorful character, a funny and happy person who was always fun to be friends with,” Ariel Ottolenghi, the coach of Beit Halochem’s wheelchair basketball team, told the Walla news site.

Katz was a father of four and also a grandfather, according to Ynet.

No date has been set for his funeral.

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