Six-time NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire is joining Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club after much speculation these past few days.
The 33-year-old forward has said in the past that it would be "great" to play for Jerusalem and Hapoel owner Ori Allon has always hoped he could convince him to come to Israel. Since 2013, Stoudemire has been part owner of the team."I am looking forward to playing for Hapoel Jerusalem and helping the team compete for titles," he said. “My family and I are excited to start a new journey in Israel, a country I have grown to love."Stoudemire, who also has offers from China, retired on Tuesday after signing a one-day contract with the New York Knicks. He played 14 NBA seasons, including 4 1/2 campaigns with the Knicks. He had his best seasons with the Phoenix Suns and also played for the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.Allon was also enthused by the news. "We are thrilled to have a player of Amar’e’s caliber join our team, solidifying our place among the top echelon of Israeli and European basketball,” he said.Stoudemire was an All-Star for the Knicks in 2010-11 when he averaged 24.7 points and 8.0 rebounds. The 6-foot-10 Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 career games. He was voted to two All-NBA first teams and was also named 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year after entering the league directly from high school.Allon Sinai contributed to this report.