Amar’e Stoudemire aims for glory and a new beginning in Israel

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

After inking a two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, Amar’e Stoudemire is not after a final payday with a club that he co-owns but rather a chance to become a better person.

The 33-year-old former NBA All-Star announced his retirement which led many to believe that Stoudemire would walk away but instead, the forward wanted to experience something different.

And where else but the Holy City to start on a new journey.

“This isn’t about collecting a paycheck overseas, though;  it’s a spiritual journey, too,” Stoudemire wrote on the Players Tribune.

“The Scripture speaks about Jerusalem as a holy place, and I can feel that whenever I’m in the city. This is a chance for me to be a better husband and a better father, to help me lead my family into righteousness. The opportunity to play there, and grow as a player and person, is a blessing.”

And on the basketball front, Stoudemire will lead Hapoel Jerusalem to the upcoming season’s EuroCup which the forward said that he would aim to win.

“I’m sure everyone has been documenting my journey with the Holy Land over the past six, maybe seven years, and my interest in playing in Israel. And at this moment, that dream has come true.”

Hapoel will be in Group D of this season’s EuroCup where they will face Fuenlabrada, Lokomotiv Kuban, ratiopharm Ulm, Union Olimpija Ljubljana and Valencia in their opening games.