Out of retirement, into the championship
6-foot-7 power forward rejoins Israeli team for 'miracle' season.
David Blu has one word for the past week: "Amazing."
After taking a year off, the 33-year-old returned to the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team to help them win the 2014 Euroleague Final Four championship. "It was really a magical season complete with miracles," he told From the Grapevine. "This was my fourth Final Four appearance, and this time was the best."
My good friend coach David Blatt and I celebrating our championship in Rabin Square. Best coach in Europe. pic.twitter.com/CJQKPEWVOt— David Blu (@davidblu) May 19, 2014
"The people in this country have really embraced me and I am honored," he said. "I've lived here for seven years. I consider myself Israeli. I'm so thankful for the appreciation I get from this country. Israel will always be a part of my life."
The feeling is mutual. Upon Blu's return to the team, Maccabi Tel Aviv released this music video to the popular Diddy anthem "Coming Home" featuring the vocals of Skylar Grey:
The fan-favorite has scored more than 1,000 points in his career, including more than 250 3-pointers. "It comes down to a lot of hard work, and believing in yourself through that hard work," he said. Blu was the leading 3-point shooter during the Final Four tournament. Watch him make a crucial shot in the championship game:
Blu played college basketball for the University of Southern California, a school his great-great-great-grandfather helped found. He played for Maccabi Tel Aviv for six seasons, but decided to go back to school and get a degree in Sociology. After his graduation in May 2013, the Israeli team came calling again.
For Blu, the move back to Israel was an easy transition. "The thing about Israel is that it's very similar to living in Los Angeles," he explains. Citing the culture and the climate, Blu says it's very easy to adapt to life in Tel Aviv. "For me, living here has been very comfortable. I live near the beach. I love it."
As for what the future holds, Blu is not sure if he'll be back for another year of play. Citing his age (not to mention the wear and tear on his body), the father of two is thinking of switching careers: "I'm taking some online courses and may get into real estate investment."
But for the time being, he'll be still be donning his No. 13 jersey. With the Euroleague Final Four in the rear-view mirror, Maccabi Tel Aviv is now competing in the playoffs of the Israeli Basketball Super League.
"There's really no other job like it," Blu said. "It's a game in the end -- but it's a great game."
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