Former pivot of the Phoenix Sun and the New York Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire has moved to Jerusalem for the continuation of his career where he will evolve at basketball club Hapoel which is one of the biggest Israeli clubs.
In an interview, Stoudmire said it has been a very emotional decision for him to move alongside his family to Israel.
The five time all star is one of the most famous NBA stars to play professional basketball in Israel.
“Being able to extend my career in Jerusalem is something that no one has ever done or did before. So I feel glad,“Stoudmire said.
Stoudemire’s transfer to Jerusalem has also been linked to his faith following his conversion to Judaism in New York. He is often presented as a member of the black Hebrews, a group of African Americans who believe that blacks are descendants of the Israelites in the old testament.
“To play here in Jerusalem is all another level. I have a spiritual connection here first and foremost and secondly I just love the city of Jerusalem and the country of Israel…” he added.
During the first match with his team, the former NBA star was influential although he never scored as many points as was expected.
Reports say Stoudmire plans to spend time in Israel learning Hebrew. The ex-NBA star says the scripture speaks about Jerusalem being a holy place and he he has promised to use the opportunity to become a better husband and father, which will help him lead his family into righteousness.
The 33 year old had been linked to plans of finishing his career in Israel in reports which date back to 2010.