President Shimon Peres hosted the New York Knicks NBA all-star Amar’e Stoudemire at his residence in Jerusalem this morning. Stoudemire is in Israel to take part in the Maccabiah Games where he will serve as part of the Canadian basketball team’s staff.
After comparing heights and posing for a back to back photo, the President turned to Stoudemire, who is 2.08 meters tall, and said: “It is an honor to have you in Israel. Since you have already achieved all the possible achievements elsewhere, I now urge you to join the Israeli National Team and be a part of our country. On behalf of the Israeli people and more importantly, on behalf of the youth of Israel, I am very pleased to have you here today”.
Stoudemire thanked the President for his kind words and said: "It is an honor to be here, coaching in the Maccabiah games…My efforts for education are very important and that is the area that I focus on. I feel that the way we can cure poverty is through education, and that is what my charity efforts have been about. Being able to expand that here in Israel is a great accomplishment and this has definitely been a phenomenal trip”.
Stoudemire, who is in the process of converting to Judaism, was born in Florida in 1982. He recently announced on his Twitter account that he a proud new owner of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball organization.