Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Omri Casspi To Light Hanukkah Candles with Obama at the White House

The Israeli NBA star and Houston Rockets small forward is in Washington to light the Hanukkah candles alongside the President and First Lady

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 5th, 2013 in Sports » Local

Houston Rockets small forward Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA, could barely conceal his excitement after receiving a formal invitation to join President Obama and the First Lady for the annual White House Hanukkah Reception this evening, Thursday Dec. 5th, for the last night of Hanukkah.


(Omri Casspi’s Instagram)

Caspi was asked to join as an official representative of Israel reports the Houston Chronicle; “Casspi, who follows politics and government news avidly, said he was thrilled to officially receive the invitation late Tuesday and began making arrangements Wednesday afternoon,” the Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen writes.

“They kind of reached out to me about a week and a half ago. They told me they want to invite me to the Hanukkah event they have. I was just waiting for the formal invitation. I will represent Israel and the Jewish community,” said Casspi.

Casspi, currently in his fifth NBA season, has described meeting the President and attending the White House as a dream come true.

“It’s going to be fun. It’s a dream come true to be in the White House. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some people don’t ever experience that. To be able to go there and be able to tell my kids, whatever year I’ve got kids, that I’ve been there — it’s awesome,” he says.

“I wish we had some time to play, too,” Casspi added. “It could have been fun.”

A one-on-one between Barack Obama and Omri Casspi? Sounds like an epic match! Maybe next Hanukkah.

As reported earlier, Casspi’s mother accompanied him on his visit to the White House. “My mother is more excited than me,” Casspi said of the Hanukkah reception (which is taking place later this evening).

For more Hanukkah fun, check out Casspi and the Houston Rockets gang sloppily perform the ‘Dreidel Song’.

It’s a riot.

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