D3 Player of the Year still thriving abroad

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2013 D3hoops.com Player of the Year John DiBartolomeo was the MVP for the Israel Basketball Super League.
Photo by Micha Kizner, Maccabi Haifa Basketball

Former University of Rochester men's basketball star John DiBartolomeo has signed a new three-year contract with the most successful team in the history of Israeli professional basketball, Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv has won an Israel Basketball Super League (also known as 'Winner League') record 51 titles, with the next closest team winning the title only five times. The 26-year old DiBartolomeo will remain playing in the Israeli League while also competing against other top European clubs in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Tel-Aviv has won six EuroLeague championships, third most in the league history.

DiBartolomeo was coming off his best professional season to date, as the 2013 graduate from Rochester was selected the Israel Basketball Super League Most Valuable Player for the 2016-17 season, also earning 1st Team All-League accolades.  He averaged 11.0 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game during the regular season, while shooting 47.6% from the field, 40.2% from 3-point range and 84.9% from the free throw line. DiBartolomeo also scored a career high 35 points on December 25th, 2016 against Hapoel Eilat.

He guided his team, Maccabi Haifa, to the Winner League Championship game with a remarkable playoff run which included the Greens becoming the first No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in the quarterfinal round. In the semifinal round of the playoffs, DiBartolomeo's Haifa squad eliminated his future employer, Maccabi Tel-Aviv 85-74.  In the finals, the Greens would fall just short of their second ever league title, dropping an 83-76 contest to Hapoel Jerusalem BC. During the postseason, DiBartolomeo appeared in six games, averaged 19.2 points per game, shot 55.3% from 3-point range, 100% from the free throw line, and added 3.5 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game.

The Westport, Conn., native began his professional career in the Spanish second division, playing with Palma Air Europa for two seasons before joining Maccabi Haifa in 2015-16.
While at Rochester, DiBartolomeo was a three-time All-American and finished his career third in school history in scoring (1,779), second in assists (533), second in steals (201) and second in free throws made (520). He also guided the Yellowjackets to two NCAA Division III Tournaments and a No. 1 ranking in Division III during his senior season in 2012-13.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv gained national exposure in the US when their head coach at the time, David Blatt, was named the new head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season, eventually leading the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals that season. Former NBA Superstar Amar'e Stoudemire was selected to the 2nd Team All-Israel Super League Team and was on the team that defeated Haifa in the Championship Game (Hapoel Jerusalem BC).