AJN Agency.- The Amar’e Stoudemire Peace Camp and the Tamir Goodman Basketball Camp joined forces at the Jerusalem YMCA to house a special group of young people from diverse religions and backgrounds.
The six-time NBA All-Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year hosted his second annual camp with the “white Jordan” and was in great shape.
The 39-year-old spoke about the importance of the game in promoting peace around the world, as well as Israeli NBA sensation Deni Avdija and Kevin Durant, whom he coached last year with the Brooklyn Nets.
“It’s an unforgettable day when Amar’e Stoudemire, the ultimate legend, is here,” Goodman exclaimed. “He has proven himself to be someone who is educating people and bringing them together as he inspires others.”
“He is someone who does not let society dictate what can or cannot be achieved in this world. What he has been able to accomplish with young and old alike, with people from different backgrounds, is incredible as he is an example of what this game of basketball is all about. It’s an honor to be a part of this and I hope I can inspire as many kids as possible.”
Stoudmire also made some opening remarks, speaking about the origins of his camp and the impact it can have around the world.
“We are here in Jerusalem at the second annual Amar’e Stoudemire Peace Camp, promoting peace and unity among all cultures here in Israel,” the former NBA star said. “Each camp has been able to provide grassroots opportunities for young players and having an international camp is amazing. The Amar’e Stoudemire Foundation has been able to bring peace to everyone and that is what the camp is about.”
Teaming up with Goodman was a no-brainer for Stoudemire, who also said the camp was for people and children of all backgrounds and faiths.
“Working with Tamir Goodman, who I worked with at Hapoel Jerusalem, is the cornerstone of youth basketball and it is only fair that I associate with the best kid in town. This camp has been an incredible success. This is just the beginning and we are growing this global game of basketball that everyone plays around the world, so why not combine the game with peace? The peace camp includes everyone: Israelis, Palestinians, the African-American Jews who are here. All of Israel who are involved in the game of basketball of all religions have the opportunity to enjoy. That is the idea of the peace camp.”
The former Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv player spoke about how his global travels have helped him see how the game of basketball can be used for the purpose of peace, which it made all the sense in the world to him.
“Since playing basketball I have traveled the world and experienced different cultures and I feel this is a great opportunity to carry on that legacy and give young basketball players a chance. Basketball brings so many opportunities for everyone. The more we bring basketball to the forefront to allow those who play to enjoy interacting when they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to interact with these cultures, it will bring everyone together.”
Stoudemire, who converted to Judaism a couple of years ago in Israel, also spoke about his continuing education and where you can find out what he’s learning at any time.
“I post all my learning on Instagram and that is never going to stop. That goes from Torah to Bible learning, it doesn’t stop, that’s the goal.”
In the 2019/20 season, Stoudemire and current Washington Wizards Deni Avdija were close teammates at Maccabi Tel Aviv and helped the club win the Israeli league title. Over the past two seasons, Stoudemire has been able to closely watch Avdija continue to develop.
“It’s been great watching him grow as a basketball player. I played with Deni in Macabi and we won a championship together before moving on to the NBA, where he went as a player to the Washington Wizards and where I went as a coach on the Brooklyn Nets coaching staff. Watching him the last two seasons has been fun as he progresses and he’s doing amazing.”
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Basketball: Join forces in Jerusalem for children and peace