Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem sent shockwaves through the Israeli basketball world by signing two-time Euroleague champion Yotam Halperin to a three-year deal. Halperin (1.96 meters, 29 years old) returns to his native Israel after five years abroad. He was widely expected to sign with Maccabi Tel Aviv – the only club in Israel he has ever played for – until Jerusalem stepped in. Halperin won back-to-back Euroleague titles with Maccabi in 2004 and 2005. In all he played six seasons with Maccabi, reached four Euroleague Final Fours and won five Israeli League titles and four Israeli Cups. Halperin was named to the 2007-08 All-Euroleague Second Team. Last season he played for FC Bayern Munich in Germany and averaged 6.3 points and 2.6 assists per game.
Halperin first left Maccabi on loan to Union Olimpija Ljubljana for the 2005-06 season and helped that team win the Slovenian League and Cup double. He left Maccabi again in 2008 for a three-year deal with Olympiacos Piraeus, which he helped to consecutive Euroleague Final Four appearances in 2009 and 2010 and a pair of Greek Cups. He agreed to a multi-year contract to return to Maccabi in 2011, but taxation issues prevented him from signing the contract and ultimately voided the deal. Instead he made his Eurocup debut with Spartak St. Petersburg, which he helped to the Eurocup Finals while collecting 2011-12 All-Eurocup Second Team honors. Halperin is also a regular with the Israeli national team, which he has represented at the European championships five times.
"I am excited to have signed for three seasons with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem," Halperin said. "This is a new challenge for me at a great club and I am ready for it. The plan is to build a team step by step that will play exciting basketball and in the years to come be a force in the [Israeli] league and in Europe."