"By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, A Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream"
A Zoom Conversation with Author Dan Grunfeld, with moderator Matt Kaplan '07
When Lily and Alex entered a packed gymnasium in Queens, New York in 1972, they barely recognized their son. The boy who escaped to America with them, who was bullied as he struggled to learn English and cope with family tragedy, was now a young man who had discovered and secretly honed his basketball talent on the outdoor courts of New York City. That young man was Ernie Grunfeld, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach previously unimaginable heights as an NBA player and executive.
In By the Grace of the Game (pre-order here), Dan Grunfeld, a basketball standout at Stanford University, shares the remarkable story of his family through a narrative that details how perseverance, love, and legacy can survive through generations, carried on the shoulders of a simple and beautiful game. The true improbability of the saga lies in the discovery of a game that unknowingly held the power to heal wounds, build bridges, and tie together a fractured Jewish family.
Dan Grunfeld is a former professional basketball player, an accomplished writer, and a graduate of Stanford University. An Academic All-American and All-Conference basketball selection at Stanford, Dan played professionally for eight seasons in top leagues around the world, including in Germany, Spain, and Israel. Dan’s writing has been published more than 40 times in media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The Jerusalem Post, and NBC News. Dan earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2017 and lives with his wife and son in the Bay Area, where he works in venture capital.
Matt Kaplan ’07 will serve as moderator. Matt majored in Law and Society, and started for the Yeoman basketball team. Since graduating, Matt has worked on Capitol Hill, major political campaigns, the private sector, and is currently in the technology industry in Silicon Valley. Matt grew up in Claremont, California, and is an inductee in the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He resides in the Bay Area with his wife and two daughters.
For further information, contact Clyde Owan ’79 at: email@example.com.