Jewish NBA star to fly to Israel to fight BDS

Israeli NBA star Omri Casspi to arrive in Israel with fellow NBA players on Thursday as part of a public relations campaign for Israel.

Tal Polon ,

Omri Casspi
Omri Casspi
Moshe Shai/Flash 90

Israeli NBA star Omri Casspi is scheduled to land in Israel this Thursday, accompanied by fellow players in the NBA, as part of a public relations campaign to improve Israel's image in the US and fight BDS, Yisrael Hayom reports.

He is to be accompanied by other fellow NBA and WNBA players, who have enlisted their support for a second time after a similar solidarity trip Casspi made last year.

Casspi expressed the importance of the mission for him: "We worked day and night for this journey [...] We are continuing in our work to change public and youth opinion in the US, to create as positive an image of Israel as possible."

In the past, Casspi has publicly shown his pride in his Jewish identity. In July, Casspi posted a picture of himself praying while wearing tefillin.

Among the players that will accompany Casspi on this trip is Amar'e Stoudemire, who retired from the NBA last week, and reportedly has closed a deal to play with the Israeli basketball team Hapoel Jerusalem, which he co-owns.

Stoudemire has called a news conference for Monday, where he is expected to make the announcement that he will play the 2016-17 season with Hapoel Jerusalem, according to ESPN.

In 2010, after joining the New York Knicks, Stoudemire told the New York Post that he had become “spiritually and culturally Jewish.” The All-Star said he was keeping kosher and would celebrate the High Holidays. He traveled to Israel that year after discovering that his mother was ancestrally Jewish.


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