Amar'e Stoudemire is taller than Israeli President Shimon Peres (Photo: Sebastian Scheiner/AP) pic.twitter.com/EcHGbXq6LB— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) July 18, 2013
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire -- in Israel coaching the Canadian basketball team at the Maccabiah Games -- was invited by Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday to join the country's national team, the AP reported.
“Since you have already achieved all the possible achievements elsewhere, I now urge you to join the Israeli National Team and be part of our country,” Peres said, according to the Times of Israel.
Stoudemire has long embraced his Jewish roots, and he said his current visit gives him the opportunity to “be a role model for children in Israel.”
In addition, Stoudemire wants to set an example for African-American Jews.
“I want to develop a mechanism for African-Americans to explore their Jewish roots through scripture,” said Stoudemire, who practices various Jewish traditions and has a prominent Star of David tattoo.
The idea isn't all that outlandish. Stoudemire recently became part owner of Hapoel Jerusalem, a financially struggling basketball team in Israel's top league.
Today I'm one of the proud new owners of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball organization. It's a great day!— Amar'e Stoudemire (@Amareisreal) July 12, 2013