By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Hapoel Jerusalem center Amar’e Stoudemire is going to be granted Israeli citizenship. The decision to give the six-time NBA All-Star an Israeli passport was taken by Israeli Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri.
“Amar’e’s contribution to Israeli sports is unquestionable,” Deri said in an official announcement. “He is one of the greatest athletes to ever play in Israel, and he wants to connect his destiny with Israel. Therefore, I have decided to use my authority according to the citizenship rule, and hand him the status of an Israeli citizen. I wish Stoudemire to keep up his success and to bring joy to the basketball fans in Israel, especially the ones of Hapoel Jerusalem.”
According to Eurohoops sources from Israel, Stoudemire wants to join the Israeli national team. Since the 36-year-old center has already played with Team USA in major tournaments (2004 Olympic Games, 2007 FIBA Americas), he first has to receive permission by FIBA.
In 2010, Stoudemire visited Israel after learning that he also has Jewish roots. Last year, he was reported to be converting to Judaism.