The University of South Florida’s (USF) new college basketball recruit, Israeli Romi Levy, lost some of her high school friends on October 7, murdered by Hamas in their terror attack at the Supernova music festival.
Her cousin, one year younger and like “a little brother,” is on the front lines of the Israel–Hamas war.
“Trying to stay on top of school and basketball, and also knowing everything going on at home, was hardest that first week, and it still is hard,” Levy told JTA.
“I’m just trying to do my best, and make sure that everybody at home is okay, and try to be there and support them.”
Basketball is her escape. Levy’s time with the team – about six hours per day at the team’s practice facility – gets her away from watching the news “non-stop”.
“If something were to happen, my phone is right there, so I don’t need to think about it when I play basketball,” she said.
Levy’s dad, Alon, travelled from Israel to Tampa last week, and saw his daughter score 10 points for USF in their 76-61 win over UT Arlington.