Amar’e Stoudemire landed in Israel last night in advance of a special meeting with President Shimon Peres this morning.
The New York Knicks player arrived in the Jewish state for two reasons: attending the Maccabiah Games, and an official announcement of his new part ownership of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team.
Stoudemire is part of Team Canada’s coaching staff, as he tweeted upon landing:
The meeting between Peres and Stoudemire was very playful as the two compared their height, and the Israeli President suggested the possibility of Amar’e joining Team Israel in the future due to his Jewish heritage.
“You are a very special man, and not just because of your talent for basketball, but due to your personality,” said Peres.
Stoudemire thanked the President for the honor and said that he believes that “the best way to fight poverty is through education and sports,” and that he will continue to contribute in any way he can.
He tweeted after the meeting:
Jerusalem Hapoel fans can’t wait for a visit of new team owner. The meeting is expected for tomorrow as fans and the BSL wait to hear the fate of the team’s coach and roster for the 2013-2014 season.
Another group of fans that waited for Stoudemire in Israel were Maccabiah attendees that swamped the American basketball star. Watch a video of his arrival below.