Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Johnson Bringing the “Magic” to Israel

Magic Johnson and other NBA stars to play during new Jerusalem arena’s opening festivities

By: J.S. Côté

Published: July 8th, 2014 in Sports » Israel

Former basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson is set to visit Israel later this year to take part in the grand opening of a brand new sports arena in Jerusalem.

Scheduled to arrive on September 4th along with other NBA stars, Johnson is set to attend the inauguration of the Jerusalem Arena, which is to become the new home of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team – which is owned by our favorite Jewish NBA star, Amar’e Stoudemire – and the hosting grounds of major international events.

The new arena is also planned to be one of the most advanced sports venues in the country and will include an Olympic-sized swimming pool and tennis courts.

Along with the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli consulate in New York, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat – who spearheaded the idea – arranged with NBA officials for a donation-funded delegation of 10 active and retired players to play against the local Hapoel Jerusalem team.

The game, which will feature a yet-to-be finalized lineup of NBA stars, is set to be the centrepiece of the new arena’s opening in the Malha neighbourhood.

Johnson went on to win five NBA championships and three MVP awards during his legendary 13-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring from basketball in 1991 when it was revealed he was carrying HIV.

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