Amar’e Stoudemire will be on the bench helping coach Canada’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer, according to a report from the New York Times.
The New York Knicks forward was in Toronto last summer helping head coach John Dore help select the team for the Games.
Stoudemire visited Israel in 2010 and has said that he might be part Jewish.
“It was a bit of a dream scenario to reach out to Amar’e because of his discovering his Jewish roots and his playing basketball,” Alex Brainis, the head of Maccabi Canada’s delegation, said. “We figured that if he said yes, this would be a big recruiting tool.”
When offered the post, “Amar’e was nothing but enthusiastic,” Brainis said.
Stoudemire also spent time last summer coaching the team, specifically on post play.
In one scrimmage Stoudemire “came onto the court and showed how, when the big man gets the ball, the zone collapses on him, and what kind of read he should have,” McGill point guard Ave Bross said.
The Maccabiah Games are the world’s third largest athletic event behind the Olympics and the Asian Games. Organizers expect 8,500 athletes from 70 countries to participate this summer.
Canada will send a 600-strong contingent to compete in four divisions: junior, open, masters and paralympic.