Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Tasman joins the USA Maccabi water polo team


Ory Tasman

There is another local water polo player who will be playing on the Maccabi Water Polo team this summer. Ory Tasman, four-time All-American and Winter Park resident, was selected to the 2017 Maccabi Water Polo team. Tasman, a graduate of Winter Park High School in 2012, holds numerous records at Winter Park High and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including most goals scored in a season (105) and a career (317). He graduate from MIT in 2016 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering, and currently works at AMD Advanced Micro Devices as a computer engineer designing modeling programs. However, water polo is never far from his heart. In his free time he is the head coach of the UCF women's water polo team that is undefeated and has advanced to the National finals in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Tasman did not know fellow water polo teammate, Zev Halikam, until they met at the tryouts for the games. "One of my friends from Boca knows him and said he loves to study the game," he said of Halikman.

Like Halikman, this will be Tasman's first Maccabi game. He tried to participate in the 2015 Pan Am games, but the water polo tournaments were cancelled because there wasn't enough interest from other teams.

How did he feel when he learned he was selected to play on the USA Maccabi team?

"When I found out I made it, I was ecstatic!" Tasman said. "Having the ability to both represent the United States and represent the Jewish community of Central Florida and the entire country is an honor and not something I could have imagined happening when I was younger. It had always been a dream of mine to represent the U.S. in some fashion. I tried out for the Junior National Team for water polo but missed one of the final cuts to make the team, and to represent both in one go is awesome!"

Tasman comes from a family of sports-minded men. His dad, Dean, was a soccer player at Stetson; and brothers Seth and Ian, also graduates of WPHS, played water polo at Iona College and Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania, respectively. Older brother Seth tried out for the games in 2009, but he didn't make the team.

Water polo isn't Tasman's only interest, he is passionate about Israel and was a representative of MIT's 2016 David Project, a nonprofit organization that empowers student leaders to build mutually beneficial and enduring partnerships with diverse student organizations so that the pro-Israel community is integrated and valued on campus.

"It was an awesome experience," said Tasman of being a representative of The David Project. "I got to meet interesting people from all over the east coast." Tasman then shared that he ran into one of his "far off" cousins who was on the trip representing UCF. "It is a great program and something that is needed at every school."

His belief in The David Project is grounded in the many trips he has made to the Land. In fact, he was bar mitzvahed on the top of Masada on a family trip.

"Every time I've been back, seeing the sunrise over the Dead Sea, I realize how magical of a place it was to have my bar mitzvah [there] and how beautiful of a country Israel is."


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