By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Tel Aviv center Amar’e Stoudemire revealed that he’s considering hanging his shoes “soon” due to being far from his family the last four years that he played outside USA after retiring from the NBA.
“I think I’m wrapping up soon. I’m missing my family,” Stoudemire said in a video interview on “Listen In With KNN” by Fox Sports. “I’ve been away playing overseas for four years now. It takes six-seven months per year to play. And I’m missing my children so it’s been tough these last four years playing overseas for me.” The 37-year-old big man has mostly played in Israel since 2016 while having a short stint in China in 2019.
Stoudemire, a six-time NBA All-Star, also talked about Maccabi Tel Aviv, playing in Israel, his coach Giannis Sfairopoulos and teammate Deni Avdija, a projected lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Here’s what Stoudemire said on:
COVID-19 quarantine in Israel:
“It was tough because we were locked down. “In Israel, the minister of health provided this strategy for us to stay in quarantine for a month. Once that happened, then we were able to start back training and playing. But it was tough for us because we had to train at home and figure out ways to stay in shape.”
“He’s a very good motivator. He motivates us very well. He keeps us kind in tune, he keeps us ready to go. There are a lot of guys who’re playing their game and everyone’s enjoying playing for him. For me, it has been great. It’s my 18th season playing professional basketball and I’m still having fun.”
Joining Maccabi after his stint with Hapoel Jerusalem:
“They actually were very helpful. They cheered, they gave me advice. It wasn’t easy because obviously I played for Jerusalem which was my ultimate destination for me because of my religious beliefs. But playing in Tel Aviv is also fun. We have the beach, nice vibe and nice scenery here. I was able to still continue my game here in Tel Aviv.”
“Deni is on the right track. He works hard. He’s trying to keep himself focused on the game of basketball. He’s always in the gym working. He has a good advantage because he gets a chance to watch guys who are pros train with him. With myself, Quincy Acy, Omri Casspi, we all played in the NBA. He gots to learn from us which is good for him.”
“I enjoy the beautiful cultures around the world especially in Europe and in the Middle East. I played in China. The Chinese culture was fun for me, having this experience. Also in Europe going to Athens (Greece), Spain, Russia and these countries that I probably would’ve never experienced or wanted to go to. But the game of basketball allowed me to experience the world.”
Winning in Israel:
“It’s funny because when I first started playing basketball I never thought I’ll be playing in Israel. When I came to Israel and I started playing here I felt a certain love for the country. We won championships, I became All-Star. My basketball journey continued to grow. While I’m having fun, I’m just continuing to let the process happen.”