New York Knicks superstar Amar’e Stoudemire applies for Israeli citizenshipBy Mason White 5:56 PM August 4, 2013
|Amare Stoudemir with Shimon Peres|
By: John Roberts
A U.S. sports icon has applied for Israeli citizenship. according to a statement released by his agent.
New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire has taken a step closer to the Promised Land.
“He asked for citizenship, and he is getting there now,” Stoudemire’s agent Happy Walters said.
Stoudemire, 30, put in the paperwork while in the Jewish state for the annual Maccabiah Games, where he served as assistant basketball coach for Canada.
The Maccabiah Games concluded earlier this week, but Stoudemire has more than religious reasons to forge closer ties with Israel.
In July, Stoudemire announced that he had become a part owner in the Israeli basketball club Hapoel Jerusalem.
Stoudemire, who was signed by the New York Knicks in 2010 with a contract of nearly $100 million over five years, was not raised Jewish.
He has been flirting with religion since moving to New York and began to tell people that his wayward mother, Carrie, had Jewish ties.
In interviews, Stoudemire said he has “no religion”, although he does keep certain Jewish ritual practices because “we are all Jews. It’s the original culture.”
Also, Stoudemire put on a yarmulke and a prayer shawl when he and Alexis Welch married last year.
“I’m not a religious person, I am a spiritual person,” Stoudemire said. “So I keep the rules of the Bible that are coordinated with and connect with the Jewish culture,” he also said.