Fantastical free throwFantastical free throw

From the courts of Camp Ramah

Israeli rhythmic gymnast Noa Kadosh makes the basket of a lifetime

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Noa Kadosh in action. (photo credit: courtesy of Noah Kadosh)
Noa Kadosh in action. (photo credit: courtesy of Noah Kadosh)

YouTube viewers are flipping over a video of Israeli rhythmic gymnast Noa Kadosh showing off her amazing basketball skills. The video, which has gone viral and has been picked up by major media outlets like ESPN and CNN, shows Kadosh performing a successful free throw while simultaneously doing a walkover at Camp Ramah in the Poconos.

The 20-year-old from Petah Tikvah used to be a member of the Israeli junior national gymnastics team. But as a current member of the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv basketball cheerleading squad, she knows her way around the court.

She says she has never performed a stunt like this one.

“I had never tried to shoot like that. A team member thought it would be cool to try it,” she says, referring to the Ramah staff basketball team she plays on. Kadosh, a shlichah (emissary) from Israel, is working as a dance instructor at the camp this summer.

If it weren’t for Howard Tilman, a rabbinical student supervising the camp’s performing arts program, Kadosh’s feat would never have been recorded and shared.

“Last Tuesday night [July 9], before a staff basketball game, a few people had arrived early and were warming up. One person had seen a YouTube video a few days before of a rhythmic gymnast in South Korea throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game,” Tilman explains. “He then suggested to Noa that she try something similar with a basketball. She was trying for a few minutes before finally making the shot. She finally did hit the shot and we captured it on my iPhone.”

Even experts appreciate Kadosh’s exceptional skill.

“A beautifully executed one handed front walkover with a blind release of the basketball,” is how Rabbi Hanniel Levenson, the 2000 New York State champion on the rings, describes the move. “It was a definite challenge, yet gracefully completed — only possible with skilled technique and timed release so the basketball can follow the same arc and trajectory as her movement.”

Tilman recalls that a staff member present as Kadosh was practicing predicted that if she made the shot, it was sure to get 1 million hits on YouTube. With over 330,000 so far, it could actually see that kind of turnover.

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