Shalom Life | April 18, 2015

Newly Discovered Jewish NBA Star Travels to Israel

New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire has embraced his Jewish roots.

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: July 28th, 2010 in News » World

Newly Discovered Jewish NBA Star Travels to Israel

Surprise! The National Basketball Association has a third Jewish player. Joining New Jersey Nets’ point guard Jordan Farmar and Sacramento Kings’ forward Omri Casspi is none other than Amar’e Stoudemire.

Actually, the newly acquired New York Knicks power forward has now been in the league for eight years, playing for the Phoenix Suns however, it was just recently that he found out he has a Jewish mother.

The 27-year-old from Lake Wales, Florida has welcomed the surprise, and has embarked on a trip to Israel to learn more about his Jewish heritage. “I’m going to Israel to study Hebrew. It’s time to get a better understanding on who we are,” wrote Stoudemire via Twitter. He also replied to a fan who wished him a good trip, by saying that he has family who live in the country.

“On the flight to Israel. This is going to be a great trip,” Stoudemire tweeted Tuesday evening.“The holy land. Learn about it,” he continued. “Ze ha’halom sheli (this is my dream).” Stoudemire reportedly plans to spend up to two months in Israel, learning both the language of the country and more about his past.

Upon arriving in Israel on Wednesday, Stoudemire travelled to Jerusalem, and again updated his Twitter fans. “Jerusalem is a beautiful city. I’m at a cafe eating a late lunch. I’m learning Hebrew by the min. Keep up! Shalom.”

Last season, while playing alongside Canadian superstar Steve Nash, Stoudemire averaged 23.1 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. He also played the full 82 game season for the Suns for the first time since 2006-07. Stoudemire has consistently battled injuries throughout his NBA career, missing 29 games in the 2008-09 season and 79 games in 2005-06.

In 516 career games, the 6-foot-10 forward has averaged 21.4 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. In 2003, Stoudemire was named NBA Rookie of the Year. He is a five time All-Star, having made the Western Conference team for the past four straight years. He was first named to the All-Star game in 2005, just his third year in the NBA.

Stoudemire’s Jewish roots and interest in the land of Israel have led to speculation among Israeli basketball fans of whether or not he might one day play for the Israeli national basketball team. If he was to join the team, he would have the opportunity to play alongside 22-year-old Omri Casspi, who became the first Israeli to ever step foot in the NBA this past season.

Long Island Students Caught Wearing Incredibly anti-Semitic Shirts While Drinking Underage Long Island Students Caught Wearing Incredibly anti-Semitic Shirts While Drinking Underage Trending400 Torontonians Join Jews From Across the Globe in Poland on March of the Living 400 Torontonians Join Jews From Across the Globe in Poland on March of the Living TrendingIsraeli Mother Outraged After Three-Year-Old Daughter Sent Home Wearing Yellow Star Of David Israeli Mother Outraged After Three-Year-Old Daughter Sent Home Wearing Yellow Star Of David Trending
 

Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Diane von Furstenberg, Kevin Hart, Lorne Michaels, and many more make the 12th annual list

Read More

Israeli Defense Firm Creates System to Detect Terror Tunnels

April 17, 2015 | By JNS.org
Israeli Defense Firm Creates System to Detect Terror Tunnels

Elbit Systems developed the new tunnel-detection system together with the Israeli Defense Ministry and other partners in Israel

Read More

Rabbis, Mental Health Professionals Holding Conference to Support Young LGBT Jews

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Rabbis, Mental Health Professionals Holding Conference to Support Young LGBT Jews

Conference to be held in Israel this Sunday will bring Orthodox rabbinical community, and the therapeutic community, together in support of LGBT teens

Read More

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million

Mind you, they were only there for a couple days

Read More

Hamas to Gazans: Kidnap More Israelis

April 17, 2015 | By JNS.org
Hamas to Gazans: Kidnap More Israelis

"Our men, our women, our children [should] always think of kidnapping your soldiers and settlers, wherever they may be"

Read More

You Could Be The Next Goldstar Beer Taste Tester. Seriously.

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
You Could Be The Next Goldstar Beer Taste Tester. Seriously.

The company is need of a new chief beer tester, and is turning to the Israeli public for help

Read More

The Kosher Switch May Not Be So Kosher After All

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Kosher Switch May Not Be So Kosher After All

Marketed as a way to keep kosher during the Shabbat, many rabbinical sources fear the Kosher Switch may rely on a Jewish loophole to keep "kosher"

Read More

David Blatt Has NBA's Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

April 17, 2015 | By Bob Jacob/Cleveland Jewish News/JNS.org
David Blatt Has NBA's Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

"It's a great time to be in the city of Cleveland," says the Israeli Head Coach, whose team squares off against the Celtics on Sunday

Read More

More Headlines