Shafir leaves for Eurobasket tourney with shooter sleeve

Orthodox Jewish women’s basketball player Naama Shafir accompanied the Israel national team to Poland for the Eurobasket tournament.

FIBA Europe—the Munich-based organization that governs basketball in Europe – had denied a request by the Israeli squad for Shafir to wear a T-shirt under her jersey for modesty reasons. All team players must wear the same uniform, according to FIBA rules.

But the team has created a special jersey for Shafir, with a shooter sleeve designed to cover her shoulder.

A shooters sleeve is an accessory made out of nylon and spandex, that extends from the players biceps to the wrist.

The team hopes that FIBA will accept the special sleeve, Haaretz reported Thursday. It brought an extra 13th player to the tournament in case the sleeve is rejected.

Israel will open the tournament against the Czech Republic on Saturday and plays Belarus on Sunday and Great Britain on Monday.

Shafir, 21, who hails from the town of Hoshaya in northern Israel, told the Associated Press she will not compromise her religious beliefs and will not play with her shoulders bare.

In April, Shafir scored 40 points to lead the University of Toledo to victory in the final game of the 2011 Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the school’s first ever postseason tournament championship. She has been able to wear a T-shirt under her jersey for her collegiate games.