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New Jersey Basketball Team Stuck In North Texas Due To Sandy

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A New Jersey high school basketball team is getting an extended vacation in North Texas, thanks to the storm once known as Hurricane Sandy.

The team traveled to Memphis for a Jewish basketball tournament, but was re-routed to Dallas because of the weather. They were told they couldn’t get a flight back home for days.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I’ll be honest, when we got to the airport, I felt stranded,” says Rabbi Richard Kirsch, who also coaches the basketball team.

Yavneh Academy in Dallas played in that same Memphis tournament. When they heard the New Jersey team had nowhere to go, they opened their hearts and homes to the entire team.

“We have a very strong tradition in Jewish tradition and southern tradition of hospitality to welcome the stranger and make the guest feel like they’re part of our family,” says Yavneh Academy’s Dr. David Portnoy.

The team has been given a nickname — the Jersey boys — and they’ve become the center of attention.

“It feels like we go to this school,” said Jordan Altman. “Its like they are freshman we don’t know. It’s been very welcoming.”

The Jersey boys have had a chance to check out North Texas treasures, like the Arboretum and Cowboys Stadium. But what they say they will remember most is the kindness they were shown when they needed it most.

“When people say stranded, they get the wrong idea. They think we have nowhere to stay or no food,” says Mordechai Weiss. “But the second we got here, Yavneh and Dallas community took us in like their family.”

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