Harold Katz, the Talmudical Academy's basketball coach, said yesterday the team likely will leave its conference next season and play "a totally independent" schedule to seek better competition for its star, Maryland-bound Tamir Goodman.
Katz, in his third season at Talmudical, said he has received calls from a number of schools interested in scheduling games with the Thunder next winter. Among them, he said, are Annapolis High, Severna Park and two in the Washington area's Interstate Athletic Conference, St. Alban's and Bullis Prep.
Goodman, a high-scoring junior, has become a local household name and a national story since accepting a full scholarship offer from the Terps this winter.
"We've had so many requests to play against Tamir, we've become everybody's Super Bowl," said Katz, whose 19-6 team is defending champion of the five-team Maryland Independent Basketball Conference.
"As a program, we need to raise funds to pay referees, get vans, play on the road," Katz said. "If these teams want us to play them -- I mean if the game makes sense to them -- there will have to be some sharing of the gate. I think it's only fair."
The Orthodox Jewish school in Pikesville is comprised of 62 boys, 12 of whom play on the basketball team. Its tiny gymnasium has a capacity of about 180, Katz said.
After fans had to be turned away from nine home games, the the Thunder moved its last two home games to larger arenas.
About 3,100 saw Talmudical beat Greater Grace at Loyola College. About 3,500 at American University's Bender Arena last Sunday saw Goodman overcome double- and triple-teams to score 33 points, including 16 of 17 free throws, against Washington's Maret.
The Goodman bandwagon began to build after he scored 41 points -- 24 in the fourth period -- in a 61-58 loss at then-No. 12-ranked Mount St. Joseph.
Following Tuesday night's win over Model School for the Deaf at Gallaudet in Washington, Katz said Goodman spent "about 40 minutes signing autographs" after an interview with a Washington TV station.
"Tamir asked the translator how to sign 'Good night, and thanks for coming,' and when Tamir did [the sign], the crowd loved it," Katz said.
Pub Date: 2/25/99