Hazell Stoudemire Rumors
The buzz around Amar’e Stoudemire’s return to the lineup for the Knicks has much to do with just how he might gel with the team’s newest sensation Jeremy Lin, as well as some concern as to whether or not he’s recovered from the death of his older brother Hazell, who last week lost his life in a car accident. With his brother still clearly on his mind, Stoudemire returned to action tonight sporting a brand new “teardrop” tattoo just under his right eye. Of course the significance of the tattoo is a showing of his deep sorrow for the man who he referred to as his “Guardian Angel.”
Earlier, when Stoudemire first walked into the church, the casket was open and he lovingly reached in to touch his brother’s hand. This was a day filled with raw emotion. “This is hurting me more than you could imagine,’’ Stoudemire said. Dressed in gray slacks, a light-blue shirt, gray tie, and wearing sunglasses, Stoudemire, the rock of the Knicks franchise, broke down with tears of love for his big brother Hazell, who died Monday at the age of 35. A nine-man Knicks contingent, which included All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, owner Jim Dolan, interim general manager Glen Grunwald, assistant GM Allan Houston and teammate Baron Davis, watched from 10 rows away, along with about 1,000 other mourners.
Amar’e Stoudemire stood before the open coffin, head bowed, eyes hidden behind sunglasses. Reaching in, he touched his brother’s body, holding his hand for several quiet seconds. Friends and family say they had not seen Stoudemire cry since he was 12, when his father, Hazell Stoudemire Sr., died of a heart attack. But later Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Lake Wales, Amar’e Stoudemire stood before his brother’s coffin and about 1,000 people, including nine members of the Knicks organization, bowed his head again, and wept. “That was my big brother,” Stoudemire told the gathering, pausing between words muffled with tears. “He kept me off the streets. He was like my guardian angel.”
In the end, the pain was too much to bear. Amar’e Stoudemire rarely shows emotion on the basketball court, and those close to him say had not cried since he was 12, when his father died. But Stoudemire could not hold back any longer. As he spoke yesterday at his brother Hazell’s funeral here at the First Baptist Church, a flood of feelings came forth. “Big brother, oh man,’’ Stoudemire said as he hunched over the pulpit, just above Hazell’s closed casket, covered with a bouquet of red roses. “He was my guardian angel. He pretty much guided me all the way through, I’m proud to say.’’
The police say Stoudemire’s brother Hazell Stoudemire Jr. died instantly at 1:42 a.m. Monday. His 2007 Cadillac Escalade was traveling fast on Route 27 in Lake Wales when it ran into a tractor-trailer, flipping, and ending a troubled life at 35. Hazell Stoudemire was in and out of prisons, and family and friends did not gloss over his life. The day Amar’e was drafted into the N.B.A. in 2002, Hazell was serving time in a New York state prison after convictions on drug dealing and sexual abuse. Their mother, Carrie Stoudemire, violated parole to be at the draft proceedings, and was sent to jail after returning to Florida. “He was trying to change his life,” Amar’e Stoudemire said. “He’d just told me he was trying to do right, to get everything right.”
It was Earnest who was called to the accident scene to identify Hazell’s body. He then had to call Amar’e. “Amar’e told me that he loved Hazell more than anyone could imagine,’’ Earnest said. “Amar’e showed his love in so many ways.’’ Earnest remembers the two brothers sitting on the couch at his home before this season, Amar’e giving his older brother a big hug and telling him how much he loved him. “Amar’e is really torn up by this,’’ Earnest added. “He wanted to be so much like his brother, and they had such a loving relationship.’’
Hazell Stoudemire was a big brother in every sense of the word and not just because he was such a big man. When Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire was a baby, it was Hazell who would heat up his bottle on the stove, his uncle, Earnest Stoudemire told the Post last night. “Hazell was the one who nurtured Amar’e,’’ said Earnest, 64, a retired major on the Lake Wales police department. Earnest is a brother of Stoudemire’s late father, Hazell Sr. Hazell Jr. kept Amar’e away from trouble, the same trouble that often would find Hazell. Hazell, 35, was killed in a car accident early this Monday morning on nearby U.S. 27 when his Cadillac Escalade ran into the back of a tractor-trailer. The Cadillac was traveling at a high rate of speed, and Hazell was not wearing his seat belt, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Amar’e Stoudemire is not expected to rejoin the Knicks until Monday, head coach Mike D’Antoni said on Wednesday. Stoudemire left the team on Monday after his older brother Hazell died in a car accident in his home state of Florida. “This is a tough time for him,” D’Antoni said.
Stoudemire, who stands to benefit the most from Lin’s pick-and-roll abilities, is right now focused on his family and getting through an extremely emotional time following the passing of his older brother, Hazell. On Tuesday, Stoudemire released a statement through the team: “I am humbled by all of the thoughts and prayers I have received. Thank you for all of the support. I am going to take a few days to be with my family and grieve the loss of my big brother, Hazell Stoudemire. Although it is not clear to me now, I hope to make some good come from our tragedy.”
Tyson Chandler, who said he left a message for Stoudemire on Tuesday, said, “At this point I just really want him to take as much time as he needs. Basketball is one thing. Life and family are completely another thing. I hope [for] the best out of the situation with his family.”
“I’m humbled by all of the thoughts and prayers I have received. Thank you for all of the support,” Stoudemire said. “I’m going to take a few days to be with my family and grieve the loss of my big brother, Hazell Stoudemire. Although it is not clear to me now, I hope to make some good come from our tragedy.’’
Stoudemire’s status remains up in the air for Friday’s game against the Lakers and Saturday’s game in Minnesota — his agent, Happy Walters, said more would be known in “a couple of days” — but the Knicks know they will be without Anthony for the rest of the week and perhaps next week as well.
Amar’e Stoudemire will be missing the next three Knicks games to spend time grieving with his family after his brother was killed in a car accident Monday morning — TMZ has learned. Amar’e — who has already missed one game over the tragedy — tells us, “I am going to take a few days to be with my family and grieve the loss of my big brother, Hazell Stoudemire.” He adds, “I am humbled by all of the thoughts and prayers I have received.”
Tragedy struck the Knicks yesterday when Amar’e Stoudemire’s older brother was killed in a car crash in Florida early yesterday morning, forcing the All-Star to take an indefinite leave of absence. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Hazell Stoudemire, 35, died at the scene after his 2007 Cadillac Escalade collided at a “high rate of speed” with the back of a tractor-trailer in Lake Wales, Fla., before 2 a.m. Stoudemire flew to Florida yesterday morning and missed last night’s game against the Jazz. There was to be a moment of silence for Stoudemire’s brother before tip-off last night. At the crash scene, a well-wisher left a white cross with the words “STAT (heart sign) love you.’’ STAT is one of Amar’e’s nicknames, an acronym for “Stand Tall and Talented.”
There is no projecting how a player will respond to personal turmoil, but Stoudemire is deeply connected to his family, even though he was often separated from them. He keeps a photo next to his bed of Hazell Sr., wearing a suit. Hazell Sr. sang in the church choir, blew the sax and never cursed in front of kids. Stoudemire has wondered how his childhood would have been different if Hazell Sr. survived. “One high school,” he said.
Stoudemire left the Knicks and headed home Monday, to grieve again. Hazell Jr. died in a car accident early Monday morning in Lake Wales when his Cadillac Escalade struck the back of a tractor trailer. According to reports, the 35-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt and was declared dead at the scene. The reports did not say whether the Escalade was a gift from Stoudemire, but it would be a surprise if it weren’t.
Stoudemire never cut ties with his wayward family members. If anything, he grew closer to them, galvanized by their problems. As a boy, he carried stereo speakers into the front yard, so his mom could preach to the gangsters in the neighborhood about mistakes she made. He was both embarrassed and proud. Last year, I wrote a feature on Stoudemire for the magazine, and asked about his brothers. Marwan was still in jail but they talked once a month. “I try not to get too emotional on the phone,” Stoudemire said. Hazell Jr. was out of jail and living in Florida. “He is trying to find a job,” Stoudemire said. Again, he seemed both embarrassed and proud.
But Lake Wales has also been the site of much anguish for Stoudemire. He was 12 when his father, Hazell Sr., died of a heart attack. His mother, Carrie, was in and out of jail. So was his older brother, Hazell Jr. Without their guidance, Stoudemire went to six high schools, including one in an office basement. He helped raise his younger half-brother, Marwan Williams, reading him bedtime stories at night. Marwan also wound up in jail.
The brother of New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire died in a car accident early Monday morning in Florida, a team spokesman confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. The Florida Highway Patrol issued a report that said Hazell Stoudemire was driving a Cadillac Escalade north on U.S. 27 in Lake Wales, Fla., at a high rate of speed and collided with the rear of a tractor trailer at 1:42 a.m. ET. The report said that the 35-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt and was declared dead at the scene. Police did not know at the time of the report if alcohol was involved.
Hazell Stoudemire, the older brother of NBA star Amare Stoudemire, died early this morning in a car accident in Florida … TMZ has learned. The accident happened on Route 27 in Lake Wales. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Stoudemire was driving at a “high rate of speed” when he collided with the rear of a tractor trailer. He died on the scene.