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WVU Coaches and Players High on Freshman Ofri Naveh



Ofri Naveh

WVU forward Ofri Naveh has been with the basketball program for about three months now and is getting settled in. Naveh has received high praise from his fellow teammates and coaches at the beginning of the season.

“For a kid for the first three weeks here didn’t say a word and now is calling for isos in the post. And he’s like ‘bring it in guys!’ I love it,” WVU F Quinn Slazinski said. “He’s 18 years old, he’ll play the whole season at 18. We got incredibly lucky to have Ofri on our team.”

Naveh, a 6-foot-7 forward from Israel, was discovered by the coaching staff during the summer as he was getting ready to play for a coach that new WVU assistant Da’Sean Butler played for. Butler conducted a Zoom with the shy Naveh but knew the type of talent he had.

“Ofri is such a great, great kid. Hard worker,” Butler said. “I had a feeling I was going to really like him after I had our very first conversation on Zoom. Not a big talker, yes sir, no sir kind of guy.”

Naveh will play a big role for West Virginia this season as the Mountaineers are short-handed for now. Naveh has been the first player off the bench for interim HC Josh Eilert.

“Ofri has been such a breath of fresh air,” Eilert said. “I mean there’s a language barrier there for sure to try to navigate in terms of teaching him but he’s got such great instincts for the game. Each and every day when we come out there I feel like Ofri is getting better and he’s not trying to force anything. He’s just letting the game come to him.”

Naveh made his season debut for the Mountaineers on Monday, being the versatile player Eilert can rely on to play multiple positions. Naveh finished with four points, two rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes. Naveh showcased his basketball IQ at the end of the game, tipping a pass to Josiah Harris in transition for a dunk.

“He’s a veteran in a freshman body at this point,” WVU big man Jesse Edwards said. “He brings a lot of energy.”

As Naveh continues to get comfortable with his new team, West Virginia will look to rely on the promising freshman throughout the season.

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