He may have retired from the NBA, but Amar’e Stoudemire is not done playing professional basketball. According to international reporter David Pick, Stoudemire will continue his basketball career as a member of Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel.
Stoudemire in recent years has explored his connection to the Jewish religion through self-discovery and visits to Israel. He is also a co-owner of Hapoel Jerusalem. And while Stoudemire will be the best player to ever suit up in Israel, he has hinted in the past at wanting to play there.
“The future is unknown and so if I have an opportunity to [play in Israel] and I’m still in great health, it would be great.” Stoudemire told the New York Post’s Marc Berman in 2014.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Stoudemire is scheduled to be in Israel next week as part of a joint charity effort between NBA Cares and Sacramento Kings forward Omri Cassipi’s foundation. The Jerusalem Post speculates that Hapoel Jerusalem will make their signing of Stoudemire official then.
What type of player Stoudemire can be in Israel, remains to be seen as his athleticism has noticeably diminished in the past several years. He did start 36 games last season for the Heat but due to injuries, Stoudemire is no longer the dynamic force he once was. Yet his experience, knowledge and sheer size should be quite beneficial for Hapoel Jerusalem, who won the Israeli title in 2015 and will play in the Eurocup next season.
Courtesy: CBS Sports