A basketball league has been relaunched in memory of a 32-year-old who lost his battle with cancer last year.

The revamped ‘George Goldstone Basketball League’ (GGBL) began last Sunday, bringing young community members together in celebration of his love of the sport.

Brainchild of Aish rabbis Moshe Mayerfeld and Shlomo Farhi, the league will see games taking place at JFS every Sunday.

George, a successful lawyer, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in July 2016, just a year after getting married.

“Speaking at his funeral – was one of the most difficult moments of my life” Mayerfeld, who also married George and his wife Lauren, said.

“George was a very special young man. I was very close with him, as a friend, a rabbi and on the basketball court. Professionally and personally he was endeared to so many and we miss him.”

Rabbi Moshe Mayerfield at the launch of GGBL

Rabbi Moshe Mayerfeld at the launch of GGBL

At the launch of the basketball league on Sunday night, 15 players were joined by many of George’s close family and friends.

The best man and ushers from his wedding attended, alongside his wife and nine-year-old cousin Noah, who has started playing basketball – inspired by George.

Rabbi Moshe Mayerfield officiating George's basketball-themed wedding. Credit: Blake Ezra photography

Rabbi Moshe Mayerfeld officiating George’s basketball-themed wedding.
Credit: Blake Ezra photography

His mum Jennie Goldstone thanked organisers, saying she “can’t think of a better tribute for Aish to perpetuate George’s memory. Basketball and Jewish life was his passion. Every time you play and wear the GGBL Kit, you honour the inspirational son, brother, husband, uncle, cousin and friend that was George Goldstone”.

His wife Lauren also addressed guests on Sunday night, saying: “George had the incredible quality of bringing people together. So tonight thanks to Moshe and everyone here, we can do what he loved most and continue to do it every week. I hope that by establishing the GGBL there will be many many more opportunities for people to get together and play just as he would have wanted. ”

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Friends of George, who managed the Junior Boys Basketball team at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin, 2015, paid tribute too. Dov Green told Jewish News he “was so lucky to have been coached by George. He filled me with confidence that I did not have before I knew him, and that I have continued to have and develop ever since.”

Martin Dyan said: “We were friends for years and started playing basketball together when we were 12 years old. He wasn’t just a fellow basketball fan, he was a generous, intelligent and caring friend. The launch of the GGBL means so much to all of us, it celebrates his love for the game and we all got to share that together on Sunday. He would have been very proud.”

All players and spectators at the Sunday night launch

All players and spectators at the Sunday night launch