By Dakota Durant

For years, NBA players have demonstrated that their skills and interests involve more than just layup lines and drilling jump shots. While their talent on the court is immeasurable, many young athletes have proven to be successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. They’ve mastered the basketball side of things, and have used that knowledge to understand the business side of it. Amar’e Stoudemire rejuvenated New York City when he decided to sign with the Knicks back in 2010. Now, Amar’e will have the opportunity to better another basketball team, this time in Jerusalem. In addition to being a six time NBA All-Star, Stoudemire can now add owner of the Hapoel basketball team to his resume. STAT partnered up with Ori Allon to purchase a share of the Israeli team. While strangers will be surprised to hear that Amar’e has shown interest towards a team in Jerusalem, it won’t be much of a shock to STAT’s fans. The NBA star has expressed his love for history, and where he comes from. Part of who he is includes Israel. In 2010 Amar’e traveled to Israel where he expressed his eagerness to “find my original culture.” Stoudemire, who is Hebrew through his mother, voiced his appreciation for the Israeli way of life in an interview during his travels. While Amar’e did not grow up in “the traditional Jewish home” he admits that the specific culture
is both “beautiful” and “original.” There is no question that Amar’e has a great love for Israel, and is excited for his new business venture. Stoudemire announced his partnership on twitter, “Excited to join the partnership that is giving back to the city of Jerusalem by offering the Hapoel basketball team a fresh start.”

The Hapoel basketball team was established in 1943, and has had success in the past, including winning the Israeli Basketball League Cup in 2008. Amar’e, who has spent eleven years in the NBA, has experience that will only make the team and the organization better. While Stoudemire is connected with Jerusalem through the culture, his ultimate goal is to enable the team a “fresh start” and to contribute in a way that will allow the team to prosper. Amar’e is definitely excited for his latest investment as he tweeted out “Today I’m one of the proud new owners of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball organization. It’s a great day!” We can expect to see more of Stoudemire in Israel, as he is expected to coach the Canadian team in this year’s Maccabiah Games.

Picture of fans at a Hapoel Jerusalem basketball game courtesy of: