Crosspoint plays anthem, shows flag to support Jewish opponent

Anti-semitic comments have become more prevalent in this country since the Hamas attack on Israel a few months ago.

Such comments have even led to things such as a ban on Zoom comments at Bainbridge Island City Council meetings.

But a small Christian school in Bremerton took it the other way. At a recent girls basketball game, Crosspoint High School displayed the Israeli flag and played Israel’s national anthem.

Coach Jenny Kuske said they did it to “show our respect and make them feel welcome at our school. We wanted to support their culture and people for what they are going through.”

Kuske said the athletic directors in the Sea-Tac 1B/2B League talked about the anti-Jewish attitude and wondered if any issues could happen locally. “But everybody in our league has been incredibly supportive,” Kuske said.

She said the decision to play an instrumental version of the national anthem Hatikvah and buy an Israeli flag to display was collaborative. The pastor and head of school agreed to “let’s make sure they know we care and support them,” Kuske said.

As for finding the version of Hatikvah, she said, “It’s not as hard as you might think. We found it on Apple Music.” She called it a “beautiful reflection of their culture.”

Kuske said their fans were very supportive. “Everybody felt like we were doing the right thing,” she said, adding it meant a lot to the parents who came up afterward and have sent emails.

As for the game, the Warriors beat Northwest Yeshiva 69-33 with Lucy Wasson leading the way with 14 points. Paulina Gamel led the losing team with 24.

Many of Crosspoint’s wins this year have been blowouts, with three being by 35 points or more. They are averaging 60 points a game, have a 6-1 record and are ranked 4th in the state in the 1B classification.

Three sophomores lead the way: guard Anna Kuske in scoring with 16 a game; center Riya Robosa in rebounds and blocks with 10 and .4 a game; and wing Momoyo Iwata in field goal percentage at 50%, assists with 3.6 and steals with five a game.