Not many Bowdoin graduates get the chance to play a professional sport. Even fewer get the opportunity to compete against NBA stars while recruited to play basketball for an Israeli professional team. Yet in October, Lucas Hausman ’16 took to the court at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for an NBA preseason game. It was his first appearance as a player for Maccabi Haifa, an Israeli basketball club that competes against professional basketball teams all over the world. Against the Clippers, Hausman netted 10 points and tallied two assists, two rebounds and one steal. Additionally, he was the only player on Maccabi Haifa to be on the court for more points won than lost. Without a doubt—this was the biggest stage that Hausman ever played on.
“Playing in the Staples Center, where Kobe played and where Lebron plays, was a surreal experience,” said Hausman.
After graduating from Bowdoin, Hausman played professional basketball in Spain for two years. He started his professional career with CB Marbella in the fourth tier of the Spanish basketball league system. After placing in the Final Four of the fourth tier, the entire club was promoted to compete in the third tier. As a former Division III player, Hausman’s talent was often overlooked.
“It doesn’t matter what you do in DIII. DIII guys don’t get a lot of respect playing overseas,” Hausman said. “The vast majority of the Americans are DI or top tier DII guys. That’s always made me play with a chip on my shoulder.”
In Spain, Hausman realized he had to approach players on the court differently than he did when playing in the NESCAC.
“Everyone is big, and everyone is fast,” said Hausman. “No matter who is on the court, you have to respect anyone that you are going up against.”
This September, Hausman faced a heartbreakingly different kind of adversity following the death of his younger brother, Corey Hausman. Corey was a first year at the University of Colorado, Boulder, when he passed away from a skateboarding accident just a few weeks into the school year.
After hearing the devastating news, Hausman spent three weeks at home in Connecticut, with his family and kept away from basketball entirely. Despite being in the worst shape he could remember, he went to the Maccabi Haifa training camp in Miami. Hausman knew that Corey would have wanted him to continue chasing his dream. After performing well at training camp, Hausman earned a spot on the lineup against the Clippers.
“The game against the Clippers was one month [past] the day after my brother’s accident,” Hausman remembered. “It was a very emotional experience for me playing that day.”
Hausman attributes much of his athletic success since graduating to the close-knit culture of the basketball team throughout his four years at Bowdoin.
“We had guys that made you want to go to practice every day and compete. The only way to really get better at a sport is to love doing it,” said Hausman.
During his time at Bowdoin, Hausman finished with 1482 points, the seventh most career points in men’s basketball history. During his senior year, Hausman scored 581 points, setting the record for the most single season points in program history.
“Even though he was the best player on the team, you wouldn’t know it,” said former teammate Jack Bors ’19. “He was always humble and hardworking.”
Hausman has just signed with Maccabi Haifa to play for the remainder of the basketball season. He remains hopeful to continue his professional basketball career not only for his own interest, but also in honor of Corey.