PLEASANTVILLE, NY- Pace University alumnus and former Pace University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Stu Wittner led the Men’s United States Basketball Team in the Open Division to a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan-American Maccabi Games.
The team began the competition with a 72-62 win over Canada on December 26 and followed it up with an 82-44 win over Israel in December 27. Coach Wittner continued their perfect run through the preliminary round with a 72-69 win over host Brazil on December 28 and a 92-45 win over Mexico on December 29. In the semi-finals, the USA team defeated Israel 96-86 on January 1 and took the gold medal the next day with an 87-70 win over Canada. Coach Wittner commented, “Coaching the National Team for the Maccabi Pan Am Games was a very special experience. We had a wonderful group of players to work with. The Gold Medal ceremony was very emotional for all of us. One of the highlights was beating the host countryBrazilat the buzzer in the opening round.”
Wittner played for Pace University for one year for the 1973-74 season. He totaled 363 points, 139 rebounds, and 105 assists in that season was named a 1974 Knickerbocker 1st Team All-Star. He then went on to finish his career and graduate at University of Georgia. Wittner continued his basketball career as a Graduate Assistant Coach at the University of Georgia. Wittner returned to Pace in 1979 as head coach of the men’s basketball team. He coached for three season from 1979-82 and posted a record of 35-47 for a .438 winning percentage. After leaving Pace, Stu moved into the footwear industry and has had sales and management positions at Converse, Rockport and Timberland. Stu is currently the Director of Podiatry at Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.
The Maccabi Games are sponsored by Maccabi USA, an organization that “endeavors to perpetuate and preserve the American Jewish community by encouraging Jewish pride, strengthening Jewish bonds and by creating a heightened awareness of Israel and Jewish identity. In addition to the 330-member delegation, the USA brought over 100 supporters to Brazil to cheer on the Team. There were 25 families participating in the Games as members of the USA Delegation. Those included the General Chairman of the Maccabi USA Team, Fred Cohen – also a Masters Softball athlete – and his wife Dhana, who is Co-chairing the supporters program.
About Pace Athletics: Pace University is an NCAA Division II member of the Northeast-10 Conference with 20 varsity sports teams. The Pace Athletics Department had 51% of its athletes in the Spring 2011 semester post a 3.0 GPA or higher to earn Northeast-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll status. Six student athletes had a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester as Pace ranked seventh out of 16 institutions in the NE-10.
About Pace University: For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu