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November 16, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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Author: Daniel Grunfeld – Virtual

By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, a Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream

Moderator: Professor Scott Ellsworth


When Lily and Alex entered a packed gym­na­si­um in Queens, New York in 1972, they bare­ly rec­og­nized their son. The boy who escaped to Amer­i­ca with them, who was bul­lied as he strug­gled to learn Eng­lish and cope with fam­i­ly tragedy, was now a young man who had dis­cov­ered and secret­ly honed his bas­ket­ball tal­ent on the out­door courts of New York City. That young man was Ernie Grun­feld, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach pre­vi­ous­ly unimag­in­able heights as an NBA play­er and exec­u­tive. In By the Grace of the Game, Dan Grun­feld, once a bas­ket­ball stand­out him­self at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, shares the remark­able sto­ry of his fam­i­ly, a del­i­cate­ly inter­wo­ven nar­ra­tive that doesn’t lack in heart­break yet remains as deeply nour­ish­ing as his grandmother’s Hun­gar­i­an cook­ing, so lov­ing­ly described. The true improb­a­bil­i­ty of the saga lies in the dis­cov­ery of a game that unknow­ing­ly held the pow­er to heal wounds, build bridges, and tie togeth­er a frac­tured Jew­ish family.

Dan Grun­feld was a two-time Aca­d­e­m­ic All-Amer­i­can as a mem­ber of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty’s men’s bas­ket­ball team. He played eight pro­fes­sion­al sea­sons in top leagues around the world, includ­ing a year in Ger­many, three in Spain, and four in Israel, with a brief stint in the NBA for the New York Knicks. Grun­feld received his MBA from Stan­ford, and his writ­ing has appeared in out­lets includ­ing Sports Illus­trat­edHuff­in­g­ton PostJerusalem Post, and SBNa­tion.

Photo of Dan Grunfeld


November 16, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm