Menlo Basketball Star Lucas Vogel Headed to Participate in the 2022 Maccabi Games


Vogel plays for the Knights as a sophomore on Varsity during the 2021 season. Photo courtesy of Lucas Vogel.

Noah Kornfeld, Staff Writer

Lucas Vogel is becoming the face of Menlo basketball. As a junior, he is entering his third varsity season, coming off a stout 13-point-per-game season last year. However, his success in the basketball world extends beyond high school. This summer, Vogel will represent the U.S. 18 and Under basketball team at the Maccabi Games in Israel. 

Vogel equated the Maccabi games to the “Jewish Olympics.” It is the third-largest national sporting event in the world and occurs every four years in Israel, bringing the best Jewish athletes in the world together to compete. For basketball, there are 16U (16 years old and under), 18U, 20U and open division tournaments where over 70+ countries around the world participate. Vogel’s participation solidifies him as one of the best Jewish youth players in the country and even the world. 

Junior Jake Lieberman turned Vogel onto the idea this past summer. The process included sending game film out to Team USA coaches and attending a nationwide tryout. To make the team, Vogel traveled to Los Angeles to participate in a three-day clinic. This tryout included 12 players who were chosen from a pool of more than 100 of the best Jewish high school players across the country. The current team includes players from California, Texas and states across the East Coast. 

Since making the team, Vogel attends Zoom calls with the team twice a month during the year to prepare for the games. The calls consist of virtual practices where the players learn plays and strategies. Vogel will meet the team in person at the end of June for a week-long training camp in New Jersey before traveling to Israel for the actual games. Throughout all of July, Vogel will compete in Israel in an Olympic-style tournament that entails pool play (games to determine tournament seeding) and a final tournament. The U.S. and Israel teams are usually the two powerhouses, but Vogel and his teammates will still have to compete against worldwide talent to win the gold. 

Since third grade, Vogel has played basketball and has made himself into a player with college aspirations. For Vogel, the games are a great opportunity for him to showcase his next-level talents.