Hapoel "Shlomo" Tel Aviv BC | Official site

Our story

Hapoel Tel Aviv Basketball Club is one of the TOP clubs of Israeli basketball. Since it's establishment in 1935, the club has won five Israeli Championships and held the state cup four times. 

The team's first game was held on January 26, 1935 against Hapoel Ramat Gan, and ended with a 6:2 victory in favor of Hapoel Tel Aviv. The team achieved its first victory in the derby on October 5, 1950. In these years, before the establishment of the National League, the team won five "Hapoel" league championships.


In 1954, the Israeli basketball league was established, and in its first league game, the team beat Hapoel Geva with a score of 45:30. She finished the first season in third place, and the one after that in fourth. The league was shut down in 1956 due to conflicts at the "Hapoel" center, but the state cup tournament did take place and in which the team qualified until the final stage, where they lost on aggregate of both games to their city rival Maccabi. The team then finished in second place for three consecutive seasons, when in the 1957/1958 season they lost to Maccabi in the cup final.


60s of the 20th century:
In 1959, the veteran coach and player Baruch Shalain left, and was replaced by Shimon Shelah, who in 1960 led the team to the first championship in its history, together with Haim Hazan and and the captain Erez Lustig. In the following season, the team won the championship as well, while beating Maccabi twice, and even participated for the first time in the European Champions Cup and recorded a debut victory over Turkish champions Galatasaray. She knocked out Galatasaray, and qualified until the quarter-finals where she was knocked out by the European champions A.S.K. Riga guided by Alexander Gomelsky.


In the 1961/1962 season, the team finished in third place, and won the state cup for the first time in its history after a winning basket by Erez Lustig in the final game. They qualified for the first round of the European Champions Cup, but were knocked out by the turkish champions.


The team did not win any title in the next two seasons. In the 1964/1965 season, Maccabi teams withdrew from the end of the league games due to allegations of corruption (rejected by the Hapoel Center), and Hapoel managed to win the championship by winning all of its games. In the cup final, she lost to her city rival Maccabi with a score of 47:55. Also in the season after 1965/1966, the team won the championship and lost to Maccabi in the cup final.


In the 1966/1967 season, Shimon shelah coached the team and the leading players were Gershon Dekel and Rami Gut. Billy Wald, a Jewish-American joined Hapoel this season. At that time, Hapoel dominated Israeli basketball after two consecutive championship wins. The team finished in second place after Maccabi, which won the championship mainly thanks to the Jewish-American citizen, Tal Brody. In the 1967/1968 season, Wald became the top player in Hapoel Tel Aviv, with 333 points at an average of 18.5 points per game. Hapoel finished in second place after Maccabi. In the 1968/1969 season, Brody had to leave in order to enlist in the United States Army, and Hapoel came back and won the championship by three points from Maccabi thanks to its new players Mark Tornshein, Alan Zuckerman, Ivan Lishinski and Barry Leibovich. They even beat her in the cup final held at the Bloomfield Stadium and completed a double and became the only team to date (as of 2022) to do so, apart from Maccabi Tel Aviv. Leibovich could not play in the league because he was considered a professional, and he led the team as a coach after Shimon Shelah left in the middle of the season


70s of the 20th century:
Hapoel Tel Aviv began the 1969/1970 season expecting to continue the streak of winning titles that began the previous decade. Barry Leibovich, who was suspended for two years, left, and in his place was appointed coach Haim Hazan, who played for the team in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hapoel lost the championship following the derby against Maccabi held on December 30, 1969. The game was considered very sensitive, and as a result referees from Greece and Turkey were invited. 58 seconds to the end of the game Mark Tornshein scored a winning basket, but an hour and a half later the game was postponed due to the claims of the Maccabi players. Hapoel lost the game, and actually lost the championship because they needed to win both derby games. She also lost to Maccabi in the cup final of that season, this time by 21 points. Also in the next season (still without Leibovich), Hapoel lost the championship to Maccabi, after losing both derby games.

Leibovich returned to play later in the decade, and even though the squad also included former basket king Ofer Ashed and Dave Newmark (the highest player in the team's history), the team failed to finish in second place, where Hapoel Ramat Gan and Maccabi Ramat Gan were ranked.

The team qualified for the cup final against Hapoel Gebat/Yigor in 1976, which eliminated Maccabi Tel Aviv, but despite being superior in terms of the commentators, it lost with a score of 90:76. Other moments worth noting this season are the 49 and 51 points scored by Leibovitch in the Korac Cup against Kinmartini Torino and against Barcelona, both by Yad Eliyahu.

In the following season, it finished in third place, and in the final of the State Cup, it faced Maccabi, which had just won the European Cup. Maccabi won with a free throw by Eric Menkin in the final seconds. It was Tornschein's last game for the team, and he was replaced by John Willis. On February 20, 1978, Hapoel beat Maccabi in the derby, for the first time since May 1970. However, they lost to Maccabi in both games in the finals of the league that season 1977/1978, and finished in third place. She also lost in the cup final, this time after extra time.

Hapoel managed to qualify for the playoff finals, which were introduced instead of the old playoff system. Maccabi beat her without much effort in the first game, and beat her with a score of 68:64 in the decisive game for the championship, which was close for the most part.


80s of the 20th century:
In the season after winning second place, Fran Costello, who was the first foreigner in its history, joined the team. Hapoel managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Korac Cup for the first time, where they were eliminated by Tsivona Zagreb. They finished in second place in the league after losing in the derby against Maccabi held in the 18th round, and beat Hapoel Ramat Gan in the last round of the season.

The team began hosting its home games at Ussishkin Hall in 1980. Before the start of the season, Simi Rieger was appointed as coach, and he signed center Lavan Mercer instead of Costello. Mercer showed weak ability in the first training sessions, but in his first game in the league against Hapoel Gan Shmuel he scored 18 points and led the team to victory. In the first derby game, held by Yad Eliyahu, Hapoel lost after not blowing the whistle for a technical foul committed by Maccabi board member Amnon Avidan who snatched the ball from Leibovich's hands. Hapoel finished the season only in fourth place.

Hapoel failed to be a real opponent in the fight for the championship in the 1981/1982 season, and finished in third place. Barry Leibovich left the team after ten seasons, and in the 1982/1983 season it was ranked seventh (the lowest until then) and lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the cup final. Yehoshua Rosin began coaching the team before the 1983/1984 season, bringing with him Mike Largy and Willie Sims from Maccabi Haifa. Together with the coordinator Amos Frishman who came up from the youth team, Hapoel managed to beat Maccabi in the derby for the first time in five years, and won the state cup after a victory in the final over Hapoel Ramat Gan.

Rosin continued to coach Hapoel, which was joined by Shmuel Zissman who played for Maccabi. She started the season well, but lost to Maccabi in the first derby by a point difference. After the loss, she showed a good level of play, and in the rematch of the derby, she beat her by a margin of 16 points, the highest in 16 years. She finished the league in fifth place, for the first time since the 1979/1980 season. The two teams met in the playoff final that opened on April 15, 1985, and Hapoel won the first game. The second match was close, during which a riot broke out between Shmuel Zissman, Mike Largy and Motti Eroasti from Maccabi, following which Largy and Eroasti were sent off by the referees. The younger Chen Lipin replaced Aroesti at Maccabi, but Hapoel had no replacement and they lost both games to Maccabi, who won another championship.

The following season, Rosin moved to the position of professional manager for a short time, and was replaced by Maccabi Haifa coach Pini Gershon. The new players who arrived were Earl Williams and Jack Zimmerman (formerly at Maccabi), as well as Shimon Amsalem in his first season as a senior. John Willis left for Hapoel Holon, and Shmulik Zisman left for the Upper Galilee. Despite the strong lineup, the team finished in fifth place, and was even defeated in the derby by a margin of 35 points. During the season several professional problems arose for which Gershon resigned. The team qualified for the playoff finals, and in the first game they were defeated by Maccabi with a score of 140:96. She managed to win the second game from Williams' victory basket, but lost to Maccabi in the third game and was eliminated from the playoffs.

Haim Zlotikman joined the team for the 1986/1987 season, but soon got injured and missed most of the season. In addition, Mike Largy also injured his back and was absent for some time. The new coach Moshe Weinkranz led the team to the playoff finals, where they beat Maccabi by one point at Yad Eliyahu and lost to them in the remaining two games.

Largy left the team before the 1987/1988 season, but despite this the team managed to start the season with a record of 6 wins and a loss with the help of veteran players Linton Townes and the newly joined Jonathan Delzell. In the round of 16 of the cup, the team knocked out its city rival Maccabi, after Towns scored 6 consecutive points, but in the quarter-finals it was knocked out by Elizur Netanya, and this time too, problems arose in paying the salaries to the players on time. Despite this, they managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Korac Cup for the second time in their history, after knocking out Zaragoza and Jugoplastica Split. In the first game in Usishkin, they lost to Tsivona Zagreb with the result 93:103, with Drajan Petrovic from Tsivona scoring 59 points. Petrovich led Tsivona to victory 89:101 in the second game with 37 points. In the century derby game, held in the 20th round, Hapoel managed to beat Maccabi by a margin of 20 points. She finished the regular season in second place. In the quarterfinals of the playoffs, they eliminated Maccabi Haifa with two wins, and in the semifinals, they eliminated Hapoel Holon with two wins from three games. In the final series against Maccabi, she lost after Kevin Magee scored a winning basket in the last second. The second game was also close, but in the last second Zlotikman scored the winning basket. The third and decisive game was close at the beginning, but Maccabi managed to open a gap and win the championship.

Laban Mercer left the team before the 1988/1989 season, after eight seasons, and joined Maccabi. The management of Hapoel claimed that Mercer was already signed by Maccabi at the time of the final series of the previous season, but they were unable to prove their claim. The team qualified for the playoff final against Maccabi despite the departure of Mercer, Zlotikman and Delazel, but lost both games.


90s of the 20th century:
Hapoel finished in sixth place in the following two seasons, and did not qualify for the playoffs. One year later, she was eliminated by Maccabi Rishon LeZion in the semi-finals. The team started the 1991/1992 season in a bad way despite the arrival of the coach Ralph Klein, his assistant Israel Lev and the player Tomer Steinhauer, and after some time it was decided to replace the foreigners Goran Gerbovac and Wayne Campbell with David Threadkill and Pervis Short. With the help of the new players, the team qualified for the playoff final against Maccabi, and lost three games out of five.

Most of the staff remained in the 1992/1993 season as well, with the exception of Short who retired and was replaced by the Yugoslav Radenko Dobras, and Chaim Zlotikman who returned for a second term and replaced Delezal. Hapoel finished the regular league in first place (for the first time since 1969), won the state cup (first title in nine years), and qualified for the playoff final against Hapoel Galil Ilion, who managed to knock out Maccabi Tel Aviv. The team lost the first game in Ussishkin, and lost its home advantage. Upper Galilee was superior, winning 3:1 overall and winning the first championship in its history. Ralph Clive left the team after two successful years, and was replaced by Zvika Sharaf who brought with him the Bosnian guard Nenad Markovic instead of Dobrash. Hapoel played less well compared to the previous season, and lost to Maccabi in the state cup final and the playoff final.

In 1995, the Histadrut stopped supporting sports teams, and as a result, the team was transferred to private ownership. In a short time, she accumulated financial debts to former players and coaches, and was even appointed a liquidator. Due to the difficulties, she had to release Players due to disputes with the management. Zvika Sharaf also left in the middle of the season, and was replaced until the end by his assistant Yair Sharon. Among the new players who came to the team were the young Meir Tapiro and Mickey Berkovic in his last season as an active player. The poor performance continued, and the team was knocked out by PAOK Thessaloniki in the European Champions Cup qualifiers. Only towards the end of the season did the team secure its place in the playoffs, but was eliminated in the semi-finals by its city rival Maccabi who won all three games. The team's financial problems continued, and the following season in the 1995/1996 season they finished in ninth place. The team was owned by Shaul Eisenberg starting in 1998, with the exception of three years owned by Russian billionaire Vladimir Gusinsky. The budget was gradually cut, and the group began to lose its position due to management problems. The team was relegated twice to the second league, and even suffered a defeat in the derby against Maccabi with a difference of 54 points.


The first decade of the 21st century:
In the 2003/2004 season, the team played good basketball and came in second place in the regular league, after winning the crossover series 0-3 over Galil Alyon in the best-of-five series, they reached the finals and finished there in second place, which earned them a place in the playoff final series against Maccabi Tel Aviv, however She was defeated in all three games. The team managed to qualify for the Final Four of the Euroleague in the 2003/2004 season, finishing in third place. It also reached the semi-finals of the State Cup and lost to Hapoel Jerusalem.

In the 2004/2005 season, Hapoel was without most of its players from the previous season, but despite this, it was a surprise, it finished in fifth place in the regular season, beat Hapoel Jerusalem 1-3 in the crossover series without a home advantage, and finished in second place in the finals, and like last year, this time as well She was defeated in three games by Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Team owner Shaul Eisenberg decided not to register for the Premier League for the 2006/2007 season, and instead Hapoel played in the National League in the 2006/2007 season. He transferred the management to Mouzia Segal, who served as the team's chairman. The team won for the first time only in the sixth round. On November 27, 2006, a labor dispute was announced between the players and the management due to non-payment of salaries, but the issue was resolved in a short time. The team did not play well and at the end of the season Relegated to the national league from last place but was saved from liquidation.

Hapoel Ussishkin:
In 2007, the team's fans decided to establish "Hapoel Osishkin", a group managed by its fans, as a protest against the management's inactivity against the Tel Aviv Municipality's decision to demolish Osishkin Hall. The new team was registered in the Dan District of League B on June 25, 2007, and was promoted to League A in its first season, after finishing the season undefeated. In the Aliyah match, held at the Hadar Yosef Hall in front of 1,000 spectators, the team beat Hapoel Erazim with a score of 73:28. Hapoel Osishkin's first coach was Uri Shelf, who was later appointed the team's manager.

In the following season, the team was promoted to the national league. At the end of the 2009/2010 season, Hapoel Osishkin finished the National League games (Northern District) in first place, thus securing promotion to the National League - a third promotion in a row in three seasons, without league losses. Also, the team won three union cups. In the first two seasons of its existence (2008-2009), Tohar Haimovich was chosen as the outstanding player of the season, and in its third season of existence (2010), Matan Naor was chosen as the outstanding player of the season.

The union with the fan association:
Following the breakup of the "Hapoel Tel Aviv" basketball team in December 2009, the rights to the team were transferred to a fan who at the time asked to remain anonymous (later it was revealed that this was Ofer Eliyahu, the son of Shlomo Eliyahu, who gave Hapoel Ussishkin the right to use the name "Hapoel Tel Aviv" " and receiving the titles of the disbanded team, without compensation. At the end of the 2009/2010 season, the association "Hapoel Ussishkin" decided to change the name of the association to "Hapoel Ussishkin Tel Aviv" and to change the name of the basketball team to "Hapoel Tel Aviv". Thus, the team officially returned to activity.

In the 2010/2011 season, the team reached the semi-finals of the State Basketball Cup. In May, Hapoel qualified for the playoff finals of the National League, but together with Matan Naor's injury, and his recovery from the injury of key player Adrian Yoter, lost in the final series to Maccabi Bikaa 3:0, and did not qualify for the Premier League.

Ahead of the 2011/2012 season, several changes were made in the team, the most important of which was the appointment of Erez Edelstein as coach. Also, many young players were brought in, and with the exception of Matan Naor (eighth for the team captain) and Gal Eitan, the entire staff was replaced. Also, during the summer break, the team was offered to move up to the Premier League for a fee, and the members of the association voted overwhelmingly (95%) against moving up to a league "not on the field". During the season, Hapoel Tel Aviv participated in the Balkan League, and even qualified for the Final Four of the league, where it was defeated in the semi-finals by Hapoel Gilboa/Galil. As part of the State Cup, the team failed to repeat its achievements from the previous season, but still beat Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in the round of 16 (and lost to Maccabi Rishon LeZion in the quarterfinals). Hapoel Tel Aviv finished the regular league in first place, and in the playoff series they played against Ironi Ramat gan in the quarter-finals (2:0 to Hapoel, best of three games), against Ironi Nes Ziona in the semi-finals (2:1, best of three games) and won the National League Championship ,after a victory over Maccabi Beer Ya'akov in the final series (3:1, the best of five games) - thus securing its promotion to the Premier League, after six years of absence from the top league in Israel.

Hapoel Tel Aviv was the first fan group in Israeli sports in general and basketball in particular to play in the top league. They opened the season with a home loss to Bnei Herzliya, but a series of away victories throughout the season - among others against Hapoel Jerusalem, Maccabi Rishon Lezion, and Maccabi Haifa - kept Hapoel away from the bottom for most of the season. The peak moment of the season came on March 3, 2013, when Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in a home game with a score of 69:65 after nine years without a win in the derby. Hapoel finished the season in eighth place in the league (second place in the lower house), and qualified for the playoffs where they lost 3:0 to their city rival. At the end of the season, the player of the team and the one who led to the sensation in the derby, Bar Timor, was chosen as the season discovery of the year. In the cup, it lost in the second round to the Maccabi Ashdod team away.

On June 27, 2014, Oded Katash was appointed as the team's coach for three years. On January 4, 2015, Hapoel Tel Aviv played its first game at Shlomo Group Hall, where it defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 67:81.

On November 3, 2015, the day after the loss to Ironi Nahariya, Katash was fired and replaced by his assistant Sharon Abrahami, who led the team to a 2-3 loss to Hapoel Jerusalem in the quarter-final series of the playoffs, under the direction of Nate Robinson. In the 2016/2017 season, Abrahami was fired from his position and replaced by Rami Hadar, who moved from Maccabi Tel Aviv. The team lost ten games and won only seven, which led to the dismissal of Rami Hadar, and his replacement by Roy Hagai until the end of the season. In June 2017, Hapoel appointed Dani Franco as its coach.

In June 2018, it secured participation in the Israeli Final Four for the first time after a 3:1 victory in the series against Maccabi Ashdod. In the semifinals of the Final Four, she met Maccabi Tel Aviv, who defeated her 98:74, and in the end also won the championship.

In May 2019, Hapoel qualified for the playoffs from eighth place and was again eliminated against Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-3 in the playoff quarter-final series.

In the 2019/20 season, she again finished in eighth place and was again eliminated in the quarterfinals with a score of 1:2 against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The 2020/21 season was not an easy season for the team. The team finished only in tenth place and after three seasons was not in the playoffs, in addition to the bottom struggles it had to face in order to stay in the first league.

The 2021/22 season was considered successful, during which it won four derby games for the first time in the team's history. The team qualified for the cup finals for the first time since 1994 after defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv in the semi-finals and losing to Bnei Herzliya. Due to injuries to its players, the team finished the league in seventh place, and in the playoffs was eliminated in the quarter-finals against Maccabi Tel Aviv, with a score of 1:3.

In the 2022/2023 season, Hapoel Tel Aviv started playing in the Eurocup. Hapoel Tel Aviv reached the top of the Premier League table, after a derby victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv 96:95, after a close game. In the State Cup, she was eliminated after losing to Hapoel Jerusalem in the quarter-finals. In this season, she also started playing in the Eurocup, where she reached the top of Group B and secured her place and the home team in the top 16 stage. In addition, Hapoel Tel Aviv broke the all-time record in the Eurocup factory for outstanding players, with 8 outstanding players in the regular season (Jordan McCray 3 times, Jacob Brown 2 times, Jaylen Hord 2 times, Chinano Onoaku 1 time). The team was eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Eurocup to Juventud in the Spanish Dalona after a close match. In the local arena, Hapoel Tel Aviv lost the decisive game 3 for the state championship to Maccabi Tel Aviv 90-94 after a tense series. Despite the big disappointment at the end of the season, the 2022/2023 season is considered a successful season for the club that managed to return to the top of Israeli basketball.

The era of private ownership:
On August 11, 2023, the agreement in which Hapoel Tel Aviv was transferred from the ownership of its fans to the ownership of businessmen Ofer Yanai and Avi Zidenberg was passed by a majority of 86.61%. In the agreement it was agreed that 51% of the ownership of Hapoel Tel Aviv will belong to Ofer Yanai, 30% to Avi zaidenberg, and 19% will remain with the fans association.