Memphis Yeshiva Invitational


11-07-2011 | Charlene Lerner to speak at 2011 Cooper Invitational

By Josh Kahane

Charlene, currently a freshman at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, is a 2010 graduate of the Ramaz School in New York City. While at Ramaz, Ms. Lerner played varsity softball, tennis, and soccer, and was one of the most prolific long distance shooting threats on the 2009-10 undefeated Lady Rams varsity basketball squad. But what makes Charlene’s story so very unique, is that she accomplished all this having been born without a right hand and with an upper right arm that extends only to the elbow. ach Bruce Pearl, former head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, will be spending Shabbat with the Cooper Invitational.

In 2010, Charlene was named ESPN’s Blind Side Award Winner for the most inspirational high school athlete of the year.

Refusing to allow this perceived disability to stand in the way of her passion for basketball, Charlene invested herself in athletics, attending formal basketball clinics at 7 years old. She went on to play in competitive leagues throughout New York and at overnight camps. In high school, Ms. Lerner was invited to the JV Elite basketball program.

According to Ramaz’s head basketball coach, Randy Dulny, “Charlene was determined as a JV basketball player to gain a spot on the varsity squad. In one game, against rival Moshe Aaron Yeshiva in South River, N.J., she nailed six shots in a row cementing the Lady Rams victory. In her senior year, she led the Lady Rams to a perfect regular season (12-0). She was an outstanding player. But more importantly,” continued Coach Dulny “Charlene is warm and kind, she has passion and resolve, optimism and enthusiasm. In her own quiet and un-assuming way she inspired others to overcome their own challenges and made an indelible impression on me personally.”

It is our honor to have Charlene participate in the Cooper Invitational and share her story.

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