newsSports

Phoenix Suns to retire jersey of former basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire

A convert to Judaism and Israeli citizen, he is “one of the most electrifying players the league has ever seen,” the team’s owner said.

Amar'e Stoudemire during EuroLeague 2019-20, Round 24 basketball game between Fenerbahçe and Maccabi Tel Aviv, at the Ulker Sports Arena in Istabul, Turkey, on Feb. 7, 2020. Credit: KCube, Kaan Baytur/Shutrterstock.
Amar'e Stoudemire during EuroLeague 2019-20, Round 24 basketball game between Fenerbahçe and Maccabi Tel Aviv, at the Ulker Sports Arena in Istabul, Turkey, on Feb. 7, 2020. Credit: KCube, Kaan Baytur/Shutrterstock.

The Hebrew word lev, Hebrew for “heart,” has a numerical value in Gematria of 32. One of the professional basketball players who played with the most heart—the Israeli citizen and convert to Judaism Amar’e Stoudemire—is slated to be inducted into the Phoenix Suns “ring of honor” next season and to have his jersey (No. 32) retired.

The ring is the team’s “highest honor bestowed to individuals who have made an enduring impact on the organization, community and Suns fans,” according to an NBA release.

“Amar’e was one of the most electrifying players the league has ever seen,” stated Mat Ishbia, who owns the Suns.

Ishbia added that Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, who will be similarly honored, “helped define the Suns and inspired generations of fans.”

Beyond his athletic prowess, Stoudemire, 40—who measures 6 feet, 10 inches—has inspired others with his deep commitment to learning Torah and embracing his Jewish identity. He studied at the Ohr Somayach yeshivah in Jerusalem, and his enthusiasm helped lead his teammate, Chris Smith, to convert to Judaism in 2017.
Stoudemire became an Israeli citizen in 2019. “My body is flooded with emotions now. My love for Israel has been with me for many years, and being part of Israel is something very special,” he said at the time.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates