Stoudemire: I turned down a lot of NBA money to play in Israel
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Stoudemire: I turned down a lot of NBA money to play in Israel

Newest Hapoel Jerusalem recruit says playing in Jewish state a ‘dream come true,’ wants to stay in touch with his ‘Hebrew roots’

Hapoel Jerusalem's new basketball signing Amar'e Stoudemire speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on August 8, 2016. (Flash90)
Hapoel Jerusalem's new basketball signing Amar'e Stoudemire speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on August 8, 2016. (Flash90)

American basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire said he decided to leave the NBA to play for Hapoel Jerusalem for ideological rather than financial reasons.

“I turned down a lot of money in the NBA to play for Israel, so it’s not about the money at all, it’s about winning championships,” he said in an interview published Monday on the Walla website.

Stoudemire said he hopes to help encourage and develop basketball in Israel both by playing in the country and by encouraging other foreign players to do so.

“Hopefully it opens the doors for others to come here,” he said.

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