JTA — The Washington Wizards are all in on Deni Avdija content.
The team, which last year made Avdija the highest-ever Israeli NBA draft pick, now has an Instagram account in Hebrew to cater to Israeli fans. It’s a first for an NBA team and adds to the team’s Hebrew Twitter account.
Yaron Talpaz, formerly the chief marketing officer for the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club, will lead the Wizards’ Hebrew coverage, the team said in a news release.
Adding to its Hebrew media blitz, the team will also launch a Wizraeli podcast to “feature interviews with Wizards personnel and voices from around the NBA and Israel.” The first episode will include Avdija and former Israeli NBA player Omri Casspi.
“We are committed to growing the game of basketball and connecting fans all over the world, so expanding our reach in Israel with the addition of Deni is a perfect opportunity to extend our global efforts,” said Jim Van Stone, president of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment group, which owns the Wizards.
Avdija, 20, is averaging 6.6 points and 2 assists per game in his rookie season.
He has played professionally for Maccabi Tel Aviv since 2017 and is also a member of Israel’s senior men’s national team. He helped Israel win the FIBA international Under-20 championships in 2018 and 2019.
Avdija grew up in his mother’s hometown of Kibbutz Beit Zera in Israel’s north. His father, Zufer Avdija, played for the Yugoslavian national basketball team and later moved to Israel, where he played professionally for several domestic clubs.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.