NBA legend Amar’e Stoudemire was recently granted temporary residency in the Jewish state, with the nation’s minister of the interior indicating that citizenship may also be in the offing.
By World Israel News Staff
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Monday that Israel was granting Hapoel Jerusalem basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire temporary residency status, with full citizenship currently under consideration.
Deri specifically mentioned Stoudemire’s “great contribution to Israeli basketball.”
Since 2016, the American-born basketball star has played for Hapoel, a team that he is also co-owner of. The 36-year-old power forward led the team to the Israeli championship and helped it reach the semifinals of the EuroCup.
Stoudemire’s ties to Israel, however, run far deeper than basketball, as the former NBA star became a student of Judaism during the past several years, observing Jewish holidays and customs.
In April 2018, he announced that he was in the process of converting to Judaism at an event at Harvard University.
Prior to arriving in Israel, Stoudemire enjoyed a notable career in the NBA, playing for the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns.
He also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games with the United States national team, and has launched ventures in the music business and fashion world.