Amar'e makes bid on Israeli hoops team
June, 29, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Jerritt Clark/Getty ImagesKnicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire is no stranger to entrepreneurial endeavors.Amar'e Stoudemire is an aficionado of entrepreneurial off-the-court endeavors.
His latest adventure could be as majority owner of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball club, which currently competes in the Israeli Basketball Super League -- the top division in Israel.
Stoudemire tweeted Friday, "Excited to join the partnership that is giving back to the city of Jerusalem by offering the Hapoel basketball team a fresh start." His agent, Happy Walters, clarified to ESPNNewYork.com that the Knicks power forward is "part of a group that made a bid to purchase the team." If it's finalized, Stoudemire likely would become a majority owner, according to Walters.
Stoudemire, who has a Star of David tattoo on his left hand, traveled to Israel for a week in 2010 -- not only because he's a history buff, but to explore his possible "Hebrew roots." While he didn't discover any, he still relates to Judaism by sometimes wearing a yarmulke and a menorah necklace, as well as following other traditions of the religion. This July, Stoudemire will be returning to Israel to serve as an assistant coach for the Canadian men's basketball team in the 19th Maccabiah Games.
It's unclear at this point why Stoudemire chose Hapoel Jerusalem. The club has six runner-up finishes in the Israeli Basketball Super League but has never been crowned champion. On the other hand, Maccabi Tel Aviv has dominated the division, winning 50 titles.
Stoudemire wouldn't be the first NBA player to have a business partnership with an overseas team. Tony Parker owns a stake in ASVEL Basket, and his Spurs teammate Boris Diaw has one in JSA Bordeaux Basket. Both are pro teams in France.
Stoudemire's other entrepreneurial projects have included investing in Sheets energy strips, publishing a series of children's books with Scholastic, launching a limited-edition women's fashion line with designer Rachel Roy and producing his own documentary with EPIX called "Amar'e Stoudemire: In The Moment."
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