Domantas Sabonis is about to become the NBA’s biggest Jewish All-Star

Domantas Sabonis, an All-Star basketball player with the Sacramento Kings, visited a Purim party hosted by Chabad of Sacramento, where the local rabbi is helping him convert to Judaism. (Photo courtesy Chabad of Sacramento / Facebook)

You don’t often see athletes converting to Judaism. When they do, they aren’t often All Stars. And when they are—well, we get excited.

This week, the Menschwarmers firmly hop aboard the Sacramento Kings bandwagon. Not because they’ve won their first playoff game in 17 years, nor because their coach and star point guard won big NBA awards. It’s because Domantas Sabonis, their 26-year-old All-Star centre, is converting to Judaism to share the faith of his wife, Shashana Sabonis. We dig into what this means for Jewish sports fans, the legacy of Jewish basketball players and whether Draymond Green’s now-infamous chest stomp on Sabonis should be considered a hate crime.

Plus, the boys chat about Jewish stars rising in the NHL playoffs and give a shout-out to Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who led this year’s March of the Living in Poland.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.