By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Tel Aviv announced the addition of veteran NBA center and six-time All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire on a contract for the remainder of the season.
Stoudemire will compete in EuroLeague for the first time in his career. He previously played in Israel with Hapoel Jerusalem (of which he’s a shareholder) in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv signed Amar’e Stoudemire (37, 2.08m) until the end of the current season. The veteran forward-center comes with extensive experience at the highest levels of basketball and even after two terms in the Israeli Premier League, under which he can play as an Israeli.
Amar’e, who adopted the Hebrew name Jehoshaphat, recently played (from October 30 to mid-December) in the Chinese league in Fujian Sturgens, before returning to the United States and practicing in South Florida. Last season, as we recall, he played in the for Hapoel Jerusalem and was named April’s player of the month. He comes to Maccabi due to the injuries of Tarik Black and Omri Casspi and will join Othello Hunter, Jake Cohen and Quincy Acy in the front court.
“We are very pleased that Amare Stoudemire will wear the ‘heavy’ jersey of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv”, Said Giannis Sfairopoulos to maccabi.co.il. “He is coming to help his new teammates and the team in the Israeli league and in the Euroleague. I want to welcome him to our team and in the Maccabi family. I want also to thank our owners for the extra add, one more during the season, with which they give to us everything for the success of the team”.
“I am Very humble for the opportunity, happy to be in Israel, the place that I love”, Stoudemire told maccabi.co.il. “I have a chance to play in the highest level in Europe, which is a dream come true”.
Amar’e Stoudemire was born on November 16th 1982 in Florida. He started playing team basketball only at the age of 14 and only for the last two years of high school stood out as a rising star. The dream of getting to the NBA led him to opt with the University of Memphis, but finally he went directly to 2002 NBA Draft and was picked ninth by Phoenix.
With the Suns, Stoudemire stood up from the beginning and his senior season provided 13.5 points and 8.8 per game, becoming the first to come directly from high school and was named Rookie of the Year in the NBA. The improvement continued and a year later he was included in the US Olympic roster, which finished with the 2004 bronze medal. In the 2004/5 season, Phoenix reached the Western Finals with a wonderful playoff ability – 29.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.
Amar’e Stoudemire overcame a string of injuries and returned for another four seasons in Phoenix, before moving to New York in 2010. He played five seasons with the Knicks and later went on short terms in Dallas and Miami. He was selected 6 times for the all star game, once for the first team of the season (2007) and four times for the second. Apart from 846 regular season games and 78 in the playoffs, he also became a worldwide star, participated in films, launched a fashion line and even signed a book series contract.
Stoudemire’s connection to Israel was revealed in 2010, when he began to talk about his Jewish connection through his mother. He began studying, came closer to the Jewish community, served as assistant coach of the Canadian National Team to the Maccabiah games, launched a kosher wine line, adopted a Hebrew name (Jehoshaphat), acquired shares in Hapoel Jerusalem and in March 2019 was granted with an Israeli citizenship. He played with the reds from the capital during the 2016/17 and 2018/19 seasons and won with them the Winner Cup (2016), the Championship (2016) and the National Cup (2019).