Carl Yaffe, a four-year standout of the NYU men’s basketball team, officially signed a contract to play professionally in Slovakia this past Friday, Sept. 20.
“It had always been a dream of [mine] to play professionally,” the Bethesda, Md. native said. Yaffe initially realized that he had a chance to play overseas in his junior year in college.
During his basketball career at NYU, Yaffe led the Violets in just about everything — average points per game (14.9), rebounds per game (7.6), assists per game (3.5), blocked shots per game (0.8) and minutes per game (35.3). He scored his 1,000th career point for NYU last November and ended his senior season as the fifth leading scorer in NYU men’s basketball history with a staggering 1,365 points. That puts him behind former NBA players Mal Graham and Barry Kramer on the all-time record list. It comes as no surprise that head coach Joseph Nesci’s first word used to describe Carl is “hardworking.”
“I have great confidence that Carl will be very successful in his playing career going forward,” Coach Nesci said.
Not to be limited by the university’s Division III status, Yaffe participated in the Maccabiah Games held in Israel this past summer, becoming more and more acquainted with the Division I atmosphere and near-professional level. At the games, the team earned a gold medal for the United States.
A can-do attitude and a little research led Yaffe and his agent, Mike Naiditch, to BK Inter Bratislava, a team in need of a “four man,” or a power forward. After the review of Yaffe’s game tapes and highlights of his college career, Inter Bratislava agreed to sign the 6 foot, 8 inch, UAA player.
The transition has been relatively easy for Yaffe so far, and he has already landed a spot in the starting five for his new club.
“It is easy to communicate, since pretty much everyone [in Slovakia] speaks English,” he said. Furthermore, his teammates have welcomed him and “are really fun to be around,” making his new situation even easier to cope with.
Despite his enormous success, Yaffe has not forgotten where he came from, and gave NYU an enormous amount of credit for helping him get to this point.
“After playing with D-I guys in Israel for the Maccabiah Games this summer and now playing for Inter Bratislava with other imports from America, I can honestly say that I stack up well compared to guys coming from higher levels of play,” he said. “That just goes to show what NYU did for me and the type of program that NYU has.”
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 26 print edition. Willow Frederick is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]