Fans of basketball star Ryan Turell, the first Orthodox Jew to play for an NBA league franchise, can now display their support for the Valley Torah High School and Yeshiva University graduate by wearing merchandise emblazoned with the athlete’s signature logos.
Drafted by the Motor City Cruise last month, the G League franchise of the Detroit Pistons, Turell debuted an online store where fans can order a selection of kippahs, hoodies, T-shirts and hats, all of which display one of two Turell logos.
“We did it now because fans have been asking for it,” Brad Turell, Ryan’s father and spokesperson said. “His professional debut game garnered 16 million views on all social media platforms — seven million on NBA G League and ESPN Twitter combined and another 5 million on ESPN Instagram.”
Turell chose to align with Klipped Kippahs to launch the line. Klipped is known for sewing clips inside kippahs in order for them to stay on when exercising and when playing basketball.
“While in high school and college, Ryan was often asked how he can play and have his kippah stay on his head,” Brad said. “When Klipped told us they did the merchandise for the Israeli Olympic baseball team and other schools’ online stores like Yavneh in LA, we decided together to come up with the merchandise. And since Ryan is the first and so far only NBA franchise player to play with a kippah, it was just a natural that we design and offer a kippah and other merchandise for fans.”
Turell scored his first G League points last week against the Wisconsin Herd, scoring 5 points at Osh Kosh and then another 6 points against the Herd in Detroit two days later. The G League is the minor league of the NBA. The 6-foot, 6-inch forward is hopeful that the Pistons will call him up and place him on their team roster.
In a statement to the Journal, Turell said he is donating 10% of his salary and profits from merchandise sales equally to Valley Torah High School, Chabad and a Detroit-based Jewish charity to be chosen.
A visit to the online store illustrates Turell’s desire to remain a role model for young Jewish athletes; a mission he has not wavered from since his high school and college days while he broke records on the basketball court. The site displays Turell’s creed: WHO I AM:
- Consistent hard work, dedication, faith, and commitment are the recipe for success on the court and in life.
- Humility, honesty, kindness and compassion are the essence of character.
- When I put my Kippah on, it reminds me to strive to be all of that.
The website can be visited at: https://rt11.schoolmerch.shop/.