What had been clear became official this evening—Amar'e Stoudemire has announced his retirement. During his final season in a Hapoel Jerusalem jersey, Stoudemire won the country championship and the Winner Cup, and with his team reached the semi-finals of the EuroCup, and to the final game of the Israel State Cup. The NBA star recorded averages of 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in the Israeli league.
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In an Instagram post, the Stoudemire, who will celebrate his 35th birthday in two months, wrote: "When I decided last summer to retire from the NBA and join Hapoel Jerusalem, my intentions were to help this team, from this holy city win my first championship with the team and the second championship in franchise history. I am extremely proud that not only did we meet that goal, but that this achievement, capped arguably the best season this team has ever had. Reaching all three local finals, of which we won two, along with a eurocup semifinals appearance, personally winning the All Star Game MVP Award and coming to within one game of the finals, made it a truly remarkable season.
"I am extremely proud that not only did we meet that goal, but that this achievement, capped arguably the best season this team has ever had. It has been a great ride for myself and my family. We enjoyed the city, its people, the holy places and of course Hapoel fans. Although I would have liked to return for another season, the team, coach and I could not find a role that I felt would allow me to meaningfully contribute in the way I have always been accustomed to play I feel it is my time now, to return to the shareholder's position and help make this team even better. I would like to thank Hapoel Jerusalem president. Ori Allon, and the entire Hapoel Jerusalem organization for giving me the opportunity to retire as a champion and doing it in the holiest of cities made even more special. I wish my teammates, friends and fans another great season. Yalla Hapoel!!"
Stoudemire applied for Israeli citizenship and identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African-Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites.
Stoudemire, 33, is a six-time NBA All-Star who played for the New York Nicks, the Pheonix Suns, and most recently the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. He is a partial owner of Hapoel Jerusalem.