Since Amar'e Stoudemire discovered his Jewish heritage, he's been repping it to the fullest. This summer, according to the New York Times, the biggest star in NBA history to rock the Star of David, will be an assistant coach for Canada at the Maccabiah Games, also known as The Jewish Olympics.
For the eclectic Stoudemire, who has also written children’s books and is the subject of a documentary that will have its premiere April 19 on EPIX, the coaching role is new, but the destination will not be. He visited Israel in 2010, shortly after signing a free-agent contract with the Knicks. That trip, he said then, was spiritual in nature.
The coming visit promises to be uplifting, too, especially if Canada earns the gold medal, something it last accomplished in 1997. Canada has scored a coup just by getting a star of Stoudemire’s magnitude to Israel, notably a star who professed in his previous trip that he believed he might be part Jewish.
That Stoudemire is coaching rather than playing does not disappoint the Canadian organizers, who see his involvement as spurring interest in their team and in the international Maccabi sports movement.
Canadian head coach John Dore extended the offer to Stoudemire during a visit to the Knicks locker room, and Stoudemire was enthusiastic about getting involved. Injuries are winding Stoudemire's career down quicker than he expected and coaching could Stoudemire's next career path. We know he's got offense down pat, hopefully, Dore teaches him some defensive sets.