The dispute generated national media attention, and Cole joked about the need to close Thursday’s practice to the media, a common practice among college and professional teams. But he also displayed frustration that the ordeal dragged on for a week.
“I feel like if (the decision) could’ve been done on Thursday, then it could’ve been done on Monday,” Cole said.
Mirwis, one of the named plaintiffs, said the excitement about getting to play was mixed with relief that the hectic week was almost over.
“Our focus right now is to play basketball, and we’ve got to keep out any off-the-court distractions that might affect how we play,” he said.
Guard/forward Isaac Buchine, also named as a plaintiff, said bowing to TAPPS‘ initial schedule and breaking the Sabbath to play the semifinal game was never considered.
“It’s something that we’ve grown up with, it’s something that our parents have taught us from such a young age, which made it a lot easier for us,” he said.
The Beren controversy comes a year after another Orthodox Jewish school, the Texas Torah Institute of Dallas, competed for the 2A championship of a different state athletic league, the Texas Christian Athletic Association. That game was moved from Saturday afternoon to Saturday night through an agreement worked out by the association and the institute’s opponent, Allen Academy of Bryan.
Allen, coached by former Baylor coach Dave Bliss, won the game, which ended around 11 p.m.
Bliss said Thursday that, while his school wasn’t excited about playing late into the night, moving the game to accommodate the Dallas Jewish school was the only logical option.
“I didn’t even think of doing anything different,” he said.
Associated Press writer Danny Robbins contributed from Dallas.