Basketball Hebrew Israel Sports

Omri Casspi Says Sheket B’vakasha

Urban Dictionary defines “Boomshakalaka” as “An onomatopoeic ‘in your face.’ Originally the sound of a slam-dunk in basketball — the “boom” being the dunk, and the “shakalaka” being the rattling of the backboard.”

In the early years of ESPN, it was common to hear an ESPN personality throw out an energetic “boomshakalaka” when showing the highlight footage of a monster dunk. Today, announcers will often exclaim variations of “Goodnight!” “Sit Down!” or “Shut Up!” when one basketball player posterizes another with a ferocious slam dunk.

Ever since Israeli basketball sensation Omri Casspi of the Sacramento Kings entered the NBA, I’ve been hoping to hear an announcer exclaim something Jewish or Hebrew when he slam dunks. Last week, Casspi’s alley-oop slam dunk on the fast break from teammate Marcus Thronton elicited a “Sheket B’vakasha!!” from the announcer — Hebrew for “Quiet Please!” but with more of a “Sit Down and Shut Up” quality to it. The play was #9 in ESPN’s countdown of the day’s top ten highlights.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |