"The entire experience of playing and winning a gold medal for my country was by far the highlight of my athletic career," said Millstein. "There's nothing like hearing USA chants and knowing that they are for you, or standing on the podium and singing our national anthem."
The USA "A" Team was undefeated in the tournament and defeated the Brazilian Team in the final competition. The team consisted of current and former college and high school players from across the United States, including California players from Pasadena, La Canada, Redondo Beach, Culver City, Hidden Hills and Los Angeles. Millstein, at 16, was the youngest player on the USA Team.
"Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel sent a contingent of close to 500 to the 11th Pan American Maccabi Games, in the Open, Youth, Juniors and Masters categories, joining an estimated 3,000 athletes from more than 20 countries," said Phyllis Magerman, chairwoman of the U.S. 11th Pan American Maccabi Games organizing committee.
Millstein, an Alamo resident, led the Mustangs this season with 51 goals, 55 assists and 56 steals, said Carole Carluccio, Monte Vista High School's water polo statistician.
Since 1948, Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel has sought to enrich the lives of Jewish youths in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the sponsor of the U.S. Team to the World Maccabiah Games in Israel, the world's third largest international sporting event. It also sponsors U.S. participation in Maccabi competitions in Pan America, Europe and Australia and supports Jewish youth through the JCC Maccabi Games.