Peres meets with delegation of NBA players 1/9/10 Mark Neiman
Peres receives honorary basketball jersey from delegation of NBA players in Jerusalem Photo by Mark Neiman, GPO
Text size

President Shimon Peres welcomed a delegation of former and current NBA players to Israel on Wednesday morning.

The trip was planned by the American pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, with the purpose of strengthening American-Israeli relations by introducing leading figures in American sports to Israel and its unique challenges.

The delegation included players Jerome Williams, David Wood, Allan Houston and Dwight Howard Sr. as well as Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace.

Accompanying the group was Sacramento Kings player and Israeli national team member Omri Casspi.

In his opening remarks at the meeting with Peres, former NBA player Allan Houston stated the delegation's support of Israel and declared that he would stand by Israel on this historic day, as direct negotiations were relaunched in Washington.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the players signed a basketball and gave it to the 87-year-old president, who in turn immediately passed the ball to one of his advisers, as if he were a seasoned player.