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Amare Stoudemire Gets Israel Basketball Invite From President Shimon Peres

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Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks makes a gesture during the game against the Indiana Pacers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2013 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Photo by Nathanie
Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks makes a gesture during the game against the Indiana Pacers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2013 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Photo by Nathanie

JERUSALEM (AP) — The president of Israel has invited New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire to play for the country's national basketball team because of his ties to Judaism.

Shimon Peres met with Stoudemire on Thursday to discuss the player's charity efforts. Stoudemire, who says he has "Hebrew roots," has traveled to Israel before and Peres urged him to help the national team.

The six-time NBA All-Star already has significant ties to Israeli basketball. Last month, he joined a group looking to buy Hapoel Jerusalem, a team in Israel's top league. Stoudemire is in Israel to coach the Canadian basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, a competition for Jewish athletes.

Stoudemire won a bronze medal with the United States at the 2004 Olympics but has not played for the national team since 2007.

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