Ping-pong prodigy withdraws because final match fell on Sabbath

How many kids do you know who have this kind of devotion?


She doesn’t spin on Shabbos.

Ping-pong prodigy Estee Ackerman, an 11-year-old from Long Island, was disqualified from her final event at the 2012 US National Table Tennis Championships in Las Vegas last Dec. 21 when her match fell on the Jewish holy day of rest and she chose not to play.

“I advanced in my round robin and then we looked at my schedule and saw the next match would be during Friday night, which is our Sabbath, so of course I’m disappointed,” Estee told The Post.

“I practiced and trained for six months for this,” the sixth-grader from West Hempstead said. “Ping pong is important to me, but my religion of Judaism is also very important to me.”

Estee is currently the No. 4 ranked player in the 8-to-11 age bracket, although in the world of competitive ping pong she often challenges and whoops players in their 20s and 30s.

“She had a Shabbos-over-sports moment,” said her father Glenn Ackerman, a funeral-home director. “She had to withdraw from the event as tournament officials would not reschedule it for after shabbos.”

Ackerman spends hours almost daily training with his daughter, whom he bills as one of the country’s biggest up-and-coming Jewish athletes.

“Hopefully, other Jewish athletes will also look to Estee to pursue their dreams in whatever sport they choose,” he said.

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