In keeping with kosher tradition, Stoudemire doesn’t eat pork or shellfish, and he sports a menorah tattoo on his left wrist. Then again, his premeal blessing includes a thank you to Jesus, and body art is considered by some rabbis to be a violation of Jewish law. Bottom line: Stoudemire says that he’s committed to “holy living” and that in Jerusalem, “I’ve never felt more at home, more tied to a place where I’m playing.”
The big adjustments for Stoudemire have come at his workplace, where he often plays in small gyms for less than 1,000 fans. Even as a veteran of international competition, he is still picking up on the rules and nuances of Euro-ball, the niceties of officiating, an Italian coach who speaks mostly with his hands. And Stoudemire’s teammates are . . . “Let’s put it this way,” he says, after searching for diplomatic words, “it’s more of a teaching situation. Like, Here’s where you go on a pick-and-roll.”
Q: What things have surprised you about the game in Europe so far? Amare Stoudemire: “It’s very competitive. It’s surprised me. It’s great for me because it allows me to continue to work on my game and continue to work toward improving. So the competitiveness here has surprised me.”
Eleven National Federations are participating in a workshop on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 and its bidding process. The national basketball governing bodies of Argentina, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Turkey are attending an informative workshop at the House of Basketball. Over the course of two days (Tuesday-Wednesday 1-2 November), FIBA is presenting the rights and requirements tied into bidding – and eventually hosting – the competition.
He’s the great American hope for Hapoel, which sees the basketball star as the key to finally squashing long-time rival Maccabi Tel Aviv on the road to national and European-league success. “There has never been a player at Amar’e’s level come to Israel before,” says Eran Soroka, NBA analyst for Israel’s Sport5 network and chief editor of the Nana 10 news site. “Even if he doesn’t end up as their top scorer, he’ll be the marquee player for Hapoel this season.”