Former NBA Star Center Amar’e Stoudemire Returns to Hapoel Jerusalem

After a year off the court, the star center is set to return -- if he doesn't find an NBA team to sign him

Arie Livnat
Arie Livnat
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Amar’e Stoudemire
Amar’e Stoudemire
Arie Livnat
Arie Livnat

After a year off the court, 35-year-old former NBA star center Amar’e Stoudemire, is returning to Hapoel Jerusalem.

Stoudemire, who signed for one season, played for Hapoel Jerusalem during the 2016–2017 season and helped it win the country’s championship and reach the EuroCup semifinals. He contributed in the playoffs, in which the team reached the Final Four, averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. However, his leadership and easy-going character were no less of a contribution to the team's run.

Last summer Hapoel owner Uri Alon decided to release Stoudemire, who himself is a part owner of the team. Now, with Alon out of the picture, Stoudemire has returned.

Coach Oded Katash said that he was “very glad Stoudemire has come back to us. It’s no secret that both sides wanted to collaborate again." Amar’e, he said, contributes "to Hapoel on all fronts, both professional and in terms of the leadership he brings, both on the court and off. I’m sure that with him here, we’ll all benefit.”

During the season he was off, Stoudemire came to Jerusalem a few times and was warmly greeted by fans. During the year he played in Jerusalem, he became very attached to the club, and took to wearing Jewish ritual fringes and expressing Zionist sentiments. Many fans were disappointed that he didn’t continue with the team.

Stoudemire, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, including six appearances in the All Star game, wanted to return to the world’s top league, but he did not find a team. However, he was also not slated to return to Jerusalem, an option that was off the table already in December after the team let go of a large number of foreign players who were not up to par, and Hapoel filled its quota for replacements of foreign players.

Stoudemire is reportedly still seeking a team in the NBA this summer and his return to Hapoel Jerusalem depends on his not finding a team to sign him.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer