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Assigned Reading: Seton Hall’s Tom Maayan went from athlete to soldier and back

Oct 14, 2013, 4:00 PM EST

Anthony Collins, Tom Maayan AP

There may not have been a player in the country that had a more difficult offseason than Tom Maayan of Seton Hall.

He nearly went to war. Literally.

You see, Maayan is an Israeli national, which means that he is subject to the mandatory three-year term of service in the Israeli Defense Force. Just days after Seton Hall’s season ended, Maayan was forced to return home to go to basic training.

Instead of learning new reads in pick-and-roll actions or working on his quickness, Mayaan was learning how to fire an M16.

It gives a whole new meaning to ‘he spent the offseason becoming a better shooter’, doesn’t it?

Anyway, Maayan’s story isn’t exactly a new one. It’s not a secret that he went back to Israel to train for five months before getting an exemption that would allow him to return to Seton Hall this fall. But it’s worth it to read through Brendan Prunty’s story on the process, which includes a great anecdote about Kevin Willard refusing to fill Maayan’s scholarship on the off-chance that he would return to school.