WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Hayden Rooke-Ley '15 has decided to take his talents to Israel to play professional basketball. He has signed a one-year contract with Ramat Hasharon of Israel's second division, Liga Leumit. Ramat Hasharon is 10 minutes outside of Tel Aviv.
Rooke-Ley along with his agent, Neal Rosenshein of Summit Sports Group, determined that Ramat Hasharon was the best basketball fit. Under head coach Itai Levi, the team runs a two guard offense with many Princeton concepts, similar to the offense that Rooke-Ley excelled in at Williams under Mike Maker and Kevin App.
"Getting a chance to show what I can do has always been my hope and objective throughout this process -- and I am lucky to have that with Ramat Hasharon. From there, it all depends on how I perform. I can't wait," said Rooke-Ley.
"I couldn't be more happy for Hayden. Our coaching staff saw first-hand all season just how hard Hayden worked and the commitment he showed to both Williams basketball and his lifelong dream of playing basketball professionally," said App.
Rooke-Ley had a terrifc season for the Ephs in 2014-15. In 20 games, he averaged 19.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 2.0 apg. He led the NESCAC in 3PT FG% (47.7), FT% (90.5), and was tied for second in points per game (19.7).
He also set an NCAA Division III record by sinking 78 consecutive free throws. The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) named Rooke-Ley the first ever NCAA DIII Men's National Player of the Week. In a matchup vs. RPI, Rooke-Ley dropped a career-high 43 points, the second highest total in Williams basketball history. Against Johnson State, Rooke-Ley set a Williams record by nailing 12 3-point shots, finishing that game with an impressive 36 points.
Rooke-Ley used a highlight tape, full game tapes, and stats to market himself to professional teams. "My agent, Coach and their GM have expressed how much they like my game and how I play. So, I look forward to joining the club and working with Coach to learn the system and improve individually; I'm going to compete from the outset to prove that Ramat Hasharon made a worthwhile investment," said Rooke-Ley.
"Ramat Hasharon is getting themselves a terrific young man, tireless worker, and elite shooter. We know Hayden will continue to represent Williams and our program in a manner everyone will be proud of," said App.