Memories, stories, thoughts and feelings from those who wish to share with the 'Safsal' readers.
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Nili Natho's player file
A year without Nili
Story on the accident
"I had to write in about my friend Nili. My name is Leorah Roberts, the wife of Jeron Roberts. This is my second season out here and I had to write in letting you know that Nili was my best friend out here. When she and I met, she welcomed me with open arms. We did everything together, Eilat, the Dead Sea, parties, dinner, talks. I am deeply saddend by her death and wanted to share some pictures of her with you. Nili was always positive. I would tell her everytime I saw her that her smile shined from here to California. She would say, Lee, I love being with you because you make me feel so good.
It was not her time to go. She will be in my prayers everyday and I will miss her as if she were my own sister. "
Another angel joining God
"Nili was always a friendly and outgoing girl. Ever since the day I met her, she was real and honest. She always had good things to say and never hurt a soul. She always expressed herself in respectful manners. My heart hurts to see how the good die young, like Nili and Darret Boyd. I feel for the family but I know Nili is in a better place right now. May she rest in peace. There are no words that can comfort a family in such a huge loss. My heart hurts to see such a special life cut short in a traffic accident. It just hurts,
"Nili! I was at the village, saw what you told me.
You said it’s a quiet place and you were right.
The place is quiet Nili very quiet, and the birds don’t sing.
The sun is shadowed and won’t give light.
With an added cold breeze you feel through your bones.
Nili remember you told me it’s a beautiful place?
Nili you were right, everything is green with olive trees and fruit popping out of every angel.
I can see the house, the house you told me, I approach but can’t come near.
It’s far it’s far
The feeling is stronger than me.
Nili you didn’t tell me it’s like this, that you feel empty and hollow and that my eyes will be looking for you.
There’s Nili! You come by, with your smile you yell to me “Kaparrra!!!”
And you open your arms wide.
Nili I hug you, breathe the back of your neck but the scent, the scent isn’t there, that’s not your scent.
There’s no sweetness and no refreshing scent or breeze of laughter no joy and no nothing.
Nili I’m standing in front of the house, you’re there I know and in a second you’ll come out to show me the village and confirm all the stories you told me.
You told me it’s a safe place, you told me it’s peaceful.
And here I am in front of your home your castle tearing in grief.
Nili, you’re gone
We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye a farewell kiss and loving hug.
You’re just gone...
You’re my beloved baby girl. Gone too soon
Left me shocked to mourn
Nili I’m hurting! Pain in my heart, pain no medicine can heal.
Just to know it’s all a bad dream and I’m about to wake up and see you dancing with me, making me laugh (you always knew how) smiling at me with the smile only you had, big and wide.
All that’s gone with you and I have the memories.
Looking in the pictures and remembering the feeling when you were alive.
Remember!!? Turkey, Romania, Germany, Russia, Gat Zamir, G-Spot, Vaks, HOUSE, the street ball competiton in Hertzlia (two time champs thanks to you), beach volleyball and lots of other fun stuff.
Now it’s all different because you’re not among us.
Diana and you together even in death.
I love you my girl
Take care of mom and dad and little Ann.
Know you belong here with us
I’ll keep you in my soul
We’ll meet again…
Shura (Sarit Arbel)"
"No words to describe the pain.
Nili played basketball for me on the Cadet National Team when she turned 13. I remember a magical girl, shy who came to try out for the team.
Nili and her family weren’t sure how to handle her acceptance to the Cadet team.
Nili was a big part of the young National Team and later we added her, Eric Shibak and I, to the senior National Team.
Nili was modest, pleasant, special, sensitive and had unique mental abilities.
Her professional skills and work ethic, her dedication and character are role models for the younger generation.
This is a tremendously difficult loss and I feel the pain of the family I know so well."
"Your magnetizing smile, the light you shined whenever you walked on the court, your unique threes, the sportsmanship you spread and the innocence with the high shocks and hair styles… a great sight. Couldn’t help not fall in love with you, I was hypnotized by you every time. You brought a lot of respect to Raanana and Ramla, and to Israeli women’s basketball in general. Every team you played for, you captured everyone’s hearts. It’s hard for me to describe the league without you, you were one of the reasons I fell in love with the game itself. Rest in peace."
Anything I write about you – won’t do you justice.
Because anyone who doesn’t know you will never understand what a loss this is
The love for life
The love for the game
The warmth and humanity towards everyone
My strongest memory is the first “birthday” we celebrated for you on the National Team on a trip to Sweden. You were so embarrassed and we were so pleased (you were still the youngest).
Take care of everyone from above
With a big smile of happiness.
I’m sending my condolences to the lovely and dedicated parents
Be strong for little Ann."
"Angels have been taken, to a better place.
My name is Lashina, I currently live in america. I knew Nili and her sister Diana from a long time ago. They used to live right in front of me, when i first moved to israel a long time ago...
Im overwhelmed and it hurts to know that such a talented person left in such a tragic way, my heart goes out to her family and I know they are in a better place. The good ones always goes first. "
"There are so many ways to look at a tragic death like this one. We can morn and cry and experience the things that most human beings do, or we can celebrate. We can celebrate the 'life on an angel' There are sometimes Angels on earth, and I truly believe she was one, but you know she has finally gotten her "wings" There are so many memories I have of her and about her. My own memories, like when she came to celebrate my birthday with me at the Karaoke bar in Tel-Aviv. I was so happy, it was such a treat and I even went back today and looked at those. She and I were not good friends, but you know she was always sweet.This was just her. Always greeted me with a big smile and kiss and lots of love! When I heard the news I was truly devastated, then I heard God speak to me and say "Why are you so down? She doesn't have a worry in the world anymore. She is here with me." That truly put peace on my soul. When I think of her, I always remember no matter what day it was, when I saw her, she looked like she was living life to the fullest and as happy as ever. What a beautiful Smile! I am in the states now, but every place, every gym and every time I saw her will exist in my mind, heart and soul forever! Although religion may separate us in what we believe but I know there is one Heaven and I will see you again! Watch out for me up there! "
“Though we weren’t in touch for the last four months and we decided it may be for the best, out of sight. We’ve been through so much together for two years. We were inseparable, we did everything together and I got to know a Nili nobody else knew. Nili, that I was just in awe of her abilities and unique ways. How did you leave us like that? All of a sudden everyone was at the village, finally understanding where you came from, everything came together, the uniqueness that won everyone over. How many moments of lights did we have? On the court, off of it, on the road, at home with the parents and sisters Ann & Dian. We didn’t want to stop for a minute, we both lived life to the fullest. Unbelievable. I look back in smile and I thank God for giving me the chance to be a part of your life, we loved, laughed, cried, won and lost. But in the terrible game called highway we lost big time, none of your threes, no penetration or steal will change this dam situation. Just the other day you and Dian left and I miss you so bad it hurts. You were always in my heart, for better or worse, because we promised each other that no matter what, no one can take away what we shared. I can write for hours but I’ll keep that to myself, but your smile stays in my head… as your guarding angel as you called me, now it’s your turn to guard us from above, guard Ann, Miriam and Avraham. We’re with them loving and missing you”
“I coached Nili for one year and that was enough to understand what powers one girl with a never ending smile possessed.
Through the years in our brief encounters, Nili showed love, affection and naughtiness it was hard to ignore. Such was Nili.
I knew her sweet sister Diana through out her high school years, a sweet and lovely girl always full of pride in her older sister.
We, the Hadasim Even Yehuda family, will remember you forever, we send our condolences to your amazing family be strong for little sweet Ann.
I would like to mention here a girl named Golda, I have no idea where she is today but I know a black cat crossed between her and Nili but Golda was the one who discovered Nili and game her the fundamentals and care for Nili to grow up to be one of the best players in the country, so Golda I know you’re hurting and crying. Be strong I’m sure Nili loves you”
To the Natho family and Elizur Ramla.
We’re shocked and we mourn the untimely death of the lovely Nili.
Yesterday in practice we were all in shock. We talked and remembered how we played against you just this Monday and we never imagined it would be the last time we see your gorgeous smile and witness your accurate shots.
Feeling everyone’s pain,
ASA Jerusalem’s players, coach and management.”
A great asset to women’s basketball
I can relate to the mother of Nili and Diana R.I.P.
Mira be strong you have no choice, Nili and Diana R.I.P wand you to be, demand you to be, I promise you.
As a person who lost many loved ones to terror, cancer and so on… I can get inside your head right now and promise you that you need this time now with yourself, it will be hard, but eventually I wish you succeed to rehabilitate yourself and build a new corner in life… stand back up and “make up” for the pain even though it will be with you forever.
One of my stops in life was Hadasim, Vitzo Hadasim’s team. I played in Even Yehuda and on the school’s team, and I’m proud to hear I played where your daughter, a great player, stepped. Lots of soul and madness in the eyes, definitely an asset to women’s basketball and I learned a lot from her.
Big loss for basketball.
Be strong, we’re with you.
Never ending love for life
“It’s hard for me to describe what I felt when I heard the terrible news, just yesterday, that the beautiful Nili Natho won’t step on the court again with her lovely smile, cuckoos and of course her trade mark, knee-high socks.
I got to get to know Nili’s game for the first time in Maccabi Raanana, along with her good friend Shira Helyon, and you could tell Nili had great potential that was only starting to be fulfilled, of course offensively her unstoppable three point touch and also defensively.
Also from what I got to see on the court and on TV, you could tell she had, Nili, a big love for the game of basketball and a never ending love for life. She understood that with all due respect, basketball was her profession but it’s just sport, and you have to enjoy it regardless of winning or losing.
This is a big loss to Israeli women’s basketball, the National Team and all women’s basketball fans in Israel. Because a player like Nili definitely raised the level of play a few notches, and the level of interest.
I can’t forget her intense joy after winning the Israeli Cup by one point, over Ramat Hasharon, and of course you can’t forget her happiness about winning the double with Ramla last year.
To her friend Shira, I just hope that with time you’ll be able to get over this terrible loss you’re experiencing, and that you keep playing basketball in the high level you’ve been displaying, so we’ll always remember Nili through you. To the Natho family I can only say be strong, and I hope you’ll never deal with sorrow again.”
My role model
“Oye it sounds weird Nili but I’m writing this without knowing you, but deep inside me I know you and know a lot about you even though we didn’t get a chance to meet.
My dream was to be you in every game my socks were up to try and succeed to play like you.
So how do I go on from here without my role model, how?????????????
My dream was in a year or two to play along side you but it seems it will never come true!!! I’m writing now without thinking the hands work like robots it’s very strange after every article I read in the last two days I cry and hope that at least up there I’ll get to meet you.
So watch over us from above and guide me to the right direction.
I’ll always love you, you’re my star”
"My name is Rami Nussel, I live in Even Yehuda and works to develop and nurture girls’ basketball there. Nili is our first player and trendsetter in striving for excellence. The Natho family came to Even Yehuda after being discovered up north at the age of 13. Nili played in Even Yehuda until she was 18. She was the star in the first championship team in Even Yehuda’s history, and became a role model for younger players who grew up in the club and went on to win a number of championships and cups.
Nili symbolized an athlete and a joyful, friendly person. I remember how the young girls would study her lead and try to emulate her. A few months ago I saw her after the National Team practice, in which my daughter Chen also took part. I asked her to look out for Chen and she told me not to worry. Ever since then she really took care of Chen and kept in touch, both on and off the court. They shared a room in training camp and Nili made sure to stay in touch until the very last day.
We loved Nili very much and we loved Diana very much, she also played with Chen during some time. Diana went to school in Hadasim and used to join us in the morning on her way to school, happy and friendly. She was a good and aggressive played but apparently chose to leave the basketball spot light to her sister.
We in Even Yehuda will not forget Nili, Diana and the Natho family who lived her for several years. We will work to keep their memory alive in our girls’ basketball projects we’ve been nurturing even since Nili graced our town.
Nili and Diana, you’re in our hearts forever.
Rest In Peace."
"I heard about the horrific accident on Friday night. First I was in shock, then came the tears, and the pain for the family, all the friends, acquaintances, and fans. I didn't get to know Nili on a personal level, but everyone who have something to do with women's basketball in Israel know it's really a small and unique kind of community. Even though I'm just a reporter, there's this connection, or feeling, that's hard to explain. First it's the love of the game, and the league, and all that's in between. It's getting all happy to see all the familiar faces after a long offseason, to see that they're okay... Living in Israel, you learn pretty fast not to take anything for granted.
So on Friday night, I was surfing the net, and checking the news on TV, looking for more information. Why… how… this is all so surreal and must be some twisted bad dream… In the morning, we didn't know what to do on the site. We didn't want to bother anyone, they're going through enough. Then the first email arrived, which gave us the idea to create this page, and let those who need to express their feelings, do so. We were extremely moved to get all these beautiful messages, filled with love, sadness and some hope. In 'Safsal' we feel a strong commitment to the league, and all I could think about today is that I need to write something too. Writing is in a way my part time job, but it has never been this tough. All that's left is to send my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones, be strong you guys, you have to."
"I am from New York City and have been close friends with a reporter for this site for over 4 years. I am saddened at the sudden and tragic death of Nili Natho. I remember being told of her 2 years ago because her style of play was similar to my favorite player in the WNBA. I followed her with the rest of the league and the accounts of my friends and contacts there that showed me that she was more than a good basketball player, she was a great woman and a fine Israeli. I never saw footage of her in action.. but from what I have seen this was not only a great loss for Israeli basketball, but basketball in general. I feel for her family and the others that died in this great tragedy.
“Nili and Diane
I can’t believe you’re really gone.
Ever since I was 12 my life crossed paths with yours.
If it’s being with Didi at school and the short time we played together
All that time at your home in Even Yehuda with your wonderful parents
And then later with little Ann.
We’ve had so many experiences together
I’ve had the pleasure and honor to play with you, Nili Natho
In the 9th grade I traveled to Jerusalem to watch you win the high school championship.
And in that same year in the same gym I watched you and my sister win the Israeli Cup.
There is no greater feeling than seeing you happy and laughing.
Your smile changes worlds.
And the year we played together was one of the most fun years of my life.
I will always be with you and I know you’re watching over me from above
I also know you’re in a better place.
Anything I say won’t do you justice
You’re just the most life loving person I’ve seen
The most honest and real person I’ve met
You always say everything you feel and what you see it what you get.
You made me realize a lot about myself that I didn’t know.
I’m glad I saw you on Tuesday, happy and joyful, and my memory of you will always be of a happy girl who loves to live.
You lived by your rules because you knew what made you happy. Now you’re up there and I’m down here trying to pick up the pieces and go on living because I know that’s what you and Nili would want.
It didn’t matter if we didn’t speak for a month I could just call and everything would be the same, same voice same loud amazing laughter that I won’t hear again.
Nili and Diane I love you very much,
I will always remember what we’ve been through together,
May you rest in peace.
And Didi it’s your birthday in two days and I can’t make it happy because you’re not here.
But it will still be your birthday.
Because you live inside me so you will have a birthday.
Love you to no end,
“Hello, my name is Michal but people might recognize me as angel…
Lots of chills went through my body when I heard about the accident… it’s terrifying, Nili is the second person I know that left this world on that same day, so my heart goes out to the family…
Erez Dagan – thank you for mentioning Golda, you’re right in every word… she’s hurting and I’m sure of it…
Don’t forget her, she knew Nili so well in the years when she was developing… the women’s basketball community is indeed small and we’ll always remember you Nili, knee-high socks and pigtails…
May she rest in peace… Amen”
The heart refuses to believe.....
"Nili my dear
I will always remember you my sweet little girl
Your beauty, your smile, your wisdom
And the special way you made so many people love and adore you.
It's impossible to talk about you without mentioning Diana
Who always looked after and was there for you like a little mom
You were always Nili & Diane and you'll always remain.
In life and in death, never seperated
My lovely little sisters
Take care all of us up there
You are our angles
I will forever love you
"hi my name is sawsan farah ,i was a basketball player in the past, i'm living in england now, i was so shocked when i heard about nili , i knew her a few years ago, she used to be a very good player she also was a nice person ,happy , and the basketball was every thing in her life . I'm so sorry about her, i m sending my TANHOMIM to her family , i dont think will come up a great girl like her. I'm sorry"
“Hello I’m Raanan Nusel, I really love women’s basketball, I’m Lior and Chen Nusel’s cousin. I’m terribly sorry that a girl like that passed just because of some mistake. She was the best shooter in Israel and a role model for many young players. Many playing in the league right now and learned a lot from her and it really hurts. I sent my deepest condolences and here’s hoping nobody else will lose their life on the roads. I think she would want more than anything to see basketball in Israel succeed more and I hope that will happen….. thanks so much for the big contribution she made and it’s a big shame that a car is a weapon that shoots at the wrong places. Rest in peace, Amen.
Rinal Zalts Levin
Nili no words can describe how I feel. About a month ago we were together for a week in Turkey with the National Team. We set next to each other at the dinning room and I got to know you better than before. I discovered such an amazing love for life in you and a conquering smile. When I told you about my family you quickly shared with me how you give your all in a relation ship and how many kids you would like to have. One night before we returned to Israel we exchanged a pair of exercise shorts you liked. When I heard about the disaster I was wearing your pants… chills went down my spine.
Nili guard us from up there,
With love, Rinat Zalts Levin
A great ambassador
Though we did not represent Nili as a player, she was legendary in our office. Very few players have touched the hearts of our clients the way that Nili did - she was a wonderful ambassador not only for women's basketball but for the country of Israel as well. Every time I sent a player to Israel, within a few days I would get a call or an email saying "I met a player who is showing me all around" or "my friend Nili helped me take care of everything". It seems that over the past few years anywhere that my players were, Nili was there as well, always with a big smile, a helping hand and an open heart. Nili will be missed by so many people around the world (today alone I spoke to players in four different countries who are all mourning her) and I know that she will continue protecting them and helping them as she has always done.
Erica McKeon, Bruce Levy Associates
The ever lasting smile & spirit…
I had to write something because I’m hurting so bad.
Personally I did not know Nili… but I followed her since I was 9 years old up until now… I am 15 years old.
I would come to the games just for her. She was my role model.
I will always remember the knee-high socks and pigtails.
Nili, I truly loved you. Maybe you didn’t know… maybe you did remember me…
I just know that after games there was always a fun “hello” or “good game”, we talked a little more.
Even when you moved to a different team I still cheered for you… even when you were playing my team.
I will forever remember you.
That Friday left a scar in me that will never heal.
I’ll never forget your smile, glowing and happy.
I’ve never seen you feeling down.
I remember the way the announcer used to chant your name in Raanana, “Nili Natho cho cho cho” … I can’t believe I’ll never hear it again.
I can’t believe you won’t be on the court again, the place you loved so much.
I’m sitting here crying for three days now. Ever since I heard on Friday night.
And I didn’t even know you as a friend, only from afar. You have to understand that you made people fall in love with you.
It’s just not sinking in that I won’t see you no more. The socks, the pigtails, the glowing girl I used to see every game, happy as can be. It’s hard to believe.
You were the best Israeli player. The best 3-point shot in the world!
This is a major blow to women’s basketball in Israel.
This is a major blow to all the family and friends. I’m so sorry for you. I hope you deal with the loss in the best way possible and stay strong.
Watch us all from up there.
Much love, I’ll remember forever!!
The happiest moments are the saddest.
Every bit of happiness and joy reminds you that the person you want to share the excitement with the most is not here.
Some people build tombstones as a memorial for a person,
Some plant trees, some donate to charity,
Some write books about their loved ones,
Live every moment, every smile and every little joy
And that is the most loving way to immortalize a person
Even if it hurts and you miss them so bad
I will smile at you, and miss you…
I didn’t know Nili, but I knew her smile, and I feel that’s enough.
Nili… I’m smiling at you, and I promise you that I always will, just like you asked.
When I heard about the accident I felt this deep sadness in my heart.
I will always remember Nili for her beautiful smile, her super wet 3point shot and her ability to make people feel good when they were around her. She will
be missed dearly in the women's basketball community.
REST IN PEACE
“On Saturday morning the phone ring woke me up earlt, it was Roni on the other end asking me if they’re sure it’s Nili. I didn’t understand what he was talking about and he told me “I was sure you knew, there was an accident last night and I hear Nili was killed”. I asked him if he was sure and he said he wasn’t, I didn’t believe it and ran to check online but no names were published. I called Tal (Natan) and Shira (Haelyon) but couldn’t reach them and all this time I kept telling myself it couldn’t be Nili until finally I saw her name and knew that’s it. I spent 3 years with Nili in Raanana and there is no doubt, a professional like Nili is hard to find, she loved the game and the game loved her back. She knew how to enjoy every moment in life and was always happy, with a gigantic smile. Always signed autographs for all the girls who came by after games and never turned them down. Nili you were one of a kind. They say God takes the good ones while they’re young so I guess he was missing someone like you up there. Rest in peace.”
Nili – where do I begin? From the second I saw you in your high school years I felt I’m seeing a special girl, one you don’t see everyday. One in a million.
Your eyes said it all – the love, the passion for life, the modesty, the goodness of heart.
While you were alive I heard nothing but good things about you, not a single bad word, and that says it all. Two and a half years ago I took a big step in my life that helped me a lot and it started thanks to you. Even in the tough times you were what helped me through!
Even now the words “RIP Nili Natho” or “Nili Natho killed” don’t mix in my head, it doesn’t sink in. On Saturday morning when I first saw your name on the internet I was sure you signed with a big team abroad and a split second later it was all over.
It’s so unfair when an angel like you leaves us at such a young age and in such a shocking manner. I hope with all my heart that the angels are guarding you up there. May your memory be with us forever. I will never for get your smile or the person you were.
Won’t forget you, Nili
It’s been three days since Nili and Diane are gone... and I still find myself browsing in websites looking for bits of information… another photo, another article, another story. Another thing to try and explain to me what, how and why this happened…
Nili played with me in Even Yehuda for several years, when she just moved from the north, a youngster in the 9th grade, with a loving and supporting family around her. She fit right in with the local community and brought many fans to the courts.
Through out the years I followed her, watching her progress and enjoying the way this little girl was improving…
Her amazing will power, commitment, determination and persistence… and the everlasting smile everyone’s talking about, that all made her into the one of the nicest and most pleasant players on our basketball séance.
This is a tremendous loss for everyone… and there’s no comfort… because what do you say to a mother and father who lost two daughters??? How do you comfort? What is there to say?
When we were there Miri said, “we built a 200 square meter house… for what? One daughter…?”
There were three, now there’s one.
Dear Natho family – an entire community is with you in mourning. Here’s hoping you will never know sorrow again.
In Memory of Nili
You know how it is.
Look in the picture and see,
How her eyes are focused only on you.
Is it so?
She smiles for you, she scores
It's easy, you know
To appreciate things when they're gone
And you the friend, the fan, a person
Will never forget her
Because her amazing eyes will always focus on you,
I didn't get to know Nili but she meant a lot to me.
Her amazing smile is deeply engraved in anyone who has ever seen her.
It hurt to hear, it hurts to know, it will hurt to remember.
But despite that, we'll always remember
To the Natho family and the entire basketball family.
I'm sorry for your loss. There are no words to describe the awful pain.
Even though I didn't know Nili on a personal level, it's impossible to stop the tears and the deep, terrible pain.
Rona Cohen, USA
Nili, where could I begin?
It's been three years since I stopped playing basketball and I've lost contact with nearly all the players.
Last Friday caught me during a weekend up north and I just couldn't believe it
It's impossible to comprehend that the optimistic girl with the eternal smile on her lips is no longer with us
It's true that we haven't been in contact since I retired but I could never forger the times we spent on the cadets national team,
I don't know how to handle a loss like this
Your smile hasn't been able to leave my mind all week, and every time your picture comes up in my head I get tears in my eyes, such a great talent lost and much more than that, an amazing person go just like that...
To your super-supportive parents I send my condolences, though there is no comfort in such a great loss
I promise I'll never forger your smile
Rest in peace girl
The smile says it all
Even though I didn’t know Nili…
Even when I had a few practice games against her with the National Teams…
I watched the Ramla’s game in Haifa/Motzkin the other day… I thought I was going to pass out…
Nili... you will always be that amazing player.. with the amazing threes… and the high socks… and the pretty pigtails…
You’ll always be that Nili everybody loves… and appreciate… and above all that same Nili who was just an incredible human being!!!
To the entire Natho family – I send my deep condolences, may you never know sorrow again and you’ll always be in my heart…
We love you
And we’ll remember you forever!!!!!!
In Nili's memory
I didn't know Nili personally, but I know the family.
I was on the first to hear the news and it was really a shock...
I lost the will to live that I had until that moment.
I admired Nili as a player, I'm not really a basketball fan but I would follow her and her team every week.
It all started back when she was in high school at Raanana.
The gorgeous smile, the socks, unforgettable stuff.
After the accident tears just ran down my face every time I read about how loved she was by all.
And her sister Diana too.
When Nili's cousin told me he used to hang out only with Diana in the village and now he has nobody to hang out with, it was so hard for me to even imagine how that feels.
We will remember you forever, beloved girls.
May they rest in peace.
A few words of goodbye
To the enternal #6.
I watched Ramla’s game against Raanana-Herzeliya tonight, saw your parents, the people from your village, the jersey with your name on it raised to the roof, and now I’m just missing you more.
I didn’t know you personally, but as a big women’s basketball fan in Israel, I know your character for years. I always looked forward to your team’s games, (first in Raanana and later in Ramla and the National Team), because whenever you entered the game something good would happen.
Nili, your death is so painful!!
Three young women taken in their prime. Definitely one of the absurd records on this planet. That feeling led me to realize these days that something really needs to be done so accidents like this, and accidents in general, will happen as little as possible. I haven’t figured out a way to implement this decision, but I suppose I will soon.
I’d like to end with a warm embrace to your entire family, the Cherkess community in Israel, your good friends Shira, Ornit and Sarit and others I do not know, and to the Elizur Ramla players and coach Tal Natan who stood by your side for so many years.
Thank you, Nili for the determined look in your eyes that will stay with me for a long time. For all the wonderful moments, for who you were.
So how am I supposed to begin? Explain to everyone who you are? Describe you? I think everyone already got it, everyone already know, but there’s one thing I’d want you to see, to understand – just how loved and missed you are… Sort of an answer to a question, a thought that goes through everybody’s heads – What’s going to happen when we die? Who will come? Who will cry? Who will miss us?
So I’m sitting here in front of the screen and reading what people wrote for you and I get a chill through my body from the love, the affection, the admiration, the amount of people who wrote, the friends who miss you, some very close to you and some less but from everywhere, from the whole world when the one thing in common is loving you and missing you… missing one more smile, one more touch.
We met at the age of 16 and basically been together ever since, in the National team, at school, Maccabi Raanana, Elizur Ramla, everywhere we went we made sure to leave a mark, since the day we met we were a winning due and everywhere they always said ‘Nili Natho and Liron Cohen’.
What will they say today?
So many memories, childish fights, happy moments which included countless jumps on the bed at the Kibuz of Ramat Rachel, when we learned that Miriam gave birth and another little Natho joined the family…
From there we went on to a historic championship with Ostrovski high school and the first Israeli Cup with Maccabi Raanana. Two excited girls in their first game in the big Yad-Eliyaho arena. To the championship and first ever Cup for Elizur Ramla will be remembered forever, we were drunk off the love from the Ramla crowd. All in such a short period of time and such a young age.
I may be in Greece but after years of following you in the player introduction, it still echos in my head 6 Nili 7 Liron as they always say huh?…
So what do we do today?
Move on? I guess we have to,
I promise to put in the effort and try to win as many titles as I can but I know two things – it’s not gonna be easy as it was where you were here… and far from being as sweet as you always made sure it will be…
Diane! A lovely, smiling beautiful girl, you lived your life in peace and with modesty, always looking out for Nili, supporting, loving and following her with admiration to every place and every game.
So close that even in death you weren’t separated.
Keep smiling with that amazing smile of yours up there as you continue as always to look after and love your dear sister…
Miriam and Abraham!
You did al you could to make your beloved girls happy, and you succeeded. You supported them all the way, to every place in the country you came to follow, support and love, we all admire you for the endless and unbound love, keep it up with little Ann so she’ll grow up and realize just how wonderful her sisters are and how strong and incredible her parents are…
Love and hugs, Liron…
to Nilli from Zaba
I will never forget you and i will never stop thinking on you, on beautifull girl, great player, my Stojakovic and wonderfull person! Love you forever
your playmaker Zaba
Hi, my name is Dvir and I'm an Elizur Ramla fan.
Nili to me you were like a sister and a soul mate,
A wonderful player with a gorgeous smile. A flower picked too soon
Nili please know that we miss you and cry every day that you're gone
May Nili, her sister Diana and her cousin Raja rest in peace
To be with you always and refuse to believe you're gone
I had the privlege to be your agent for two years
To get to know your amazing personality and your loving wonderful family
Your gorgeous smile and love for life, the way you were always looking to help everyone
Always with love, nobel and with a smile
A huge talent, great player with an absolute shot, all that was taken away from us so young and so naive and innocent, Nili you can hear me know that we all love and miss you
I'll never forget you
Well truth is everything was said already and anything else might sound corny but what I want to say is coming straight from the heart. In all honesty I hope they remember an athlete and a person like you for many years to come. I'll try to summarize as much as possible because the real value will come only from the understanding of each reader about what a personality this is about.
Despite your young age you found fans all over Israel, won titles, and became a star on both your club teams and the national teams. Despite the different background you came from you proved you're Israeli and a lot more like us than a lot of other people, patriotic on and off the court. You're an amazing person with a golden smile and even though you weren't in the most popular profession in the country while you were with us, it was hard not to know you! A conquering personality, amazing person, what can you say… justice [Jupiter] is just a name of a star I guess.. and that’s why you’re not with us! So annoying and so sad! And we so love you! I’m one of many.. thanks for everything Nili..
A year past and you’re so missed
A year already passed with out a player, a personality, so wonderfull
A year and we still hurt the pain of you being gone
I wish we could see you in Ramla’s uniform again
And now all we have left are memories of beautiful moments
You left so much behind you talent and a smile and so much love
I hope at least up there you’re happy
And happy we brought you a Championship plate
Nili you were always the crowd favorite and you’ll always be we will remember you forever
A year has passed since that horrible disaster and it seems like just yesterday we were told about the big loss.
The heart refuses to believe you’re not here, at first I still used to follow the league and look for you, to see the smile, the amazing threes only you could make. Sometimes there are moments of false hope, that maybe you’ll still come back to us.
Nili, you’re missed here by so many people, and I’m sure you’re watching from up there and guarding us. I have no doubt.
To the Natho family, I with you’ll find the path towards happiness and peace and keep being strong.
We did not forget you and your big smile!
You are always with us!