Amar'e's Adventures in Israel; Tyler to Japan | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / June 15.
  • Amar’e’s Adventures in Israel; Tyler to Japan

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    Amar’e Stoudemire won’t travel to Turkey with Team USA because of insurance issues related to his left knee.

    But he is enjoying an overseas adventure just the same.

    The new Knicks forward, who signed a five-year, $100 million deal with New York but was kept out of the World Championships because of insurance concerns, is currently visiting Israel after coming to believe that his mother has Jewish roots.

    “I know there are some reports that he is Jewish, but he is not,” Happy Walters, Stoudemire’s agent, told  “He thinks there may be some Jewish blood on his mother’s side and he is researching it.”

    Still, Stoudemire says he’s learning Hebrew on the trip.

    “Jerusalem is a beautiful city, I’m at a cafe eating a late lunch,” Stoudemire wrote on his Twitter feed. “I’m learning Hebrew by the min. Keep up !! Shalom.”

    Stoudemire also Tweeted before he left Tuesday: “On the flight to Israel. This is going to be a great trip. The holy land. Learn about it. This ze ha’halom sheli. Shalom.”

    The Hebrew translation means, “This is my dream.”

    Numerous American players have competed in Israel, including 6-11 high school star Jeremy Tyler, who signed with Maccabi Haifa but left before the season ended.

    Tyler just signed with the Tokyo Apache of Japan’s professional basketball league.

    The team announced the signing Thursday on its official website. The 19-year-old Tyler will play for former NBA and Fordham coach Bob Hill, who was hired by the team last month.

    “We are extremely excited for Jeremy to join our team in Tokyo,” the team said in a statement. “His athleticism and size will be a major presence in our frontcourt this season.”

    Tyler, who attended San Diego High School before leaving after his junior year, signed a one-year, $140,000 contract with Maccabi Haifa in August 2009. He was the first American-born player to leave high school early to play professionally overseas.

    Some had seen Tyler as a potential No. 1 overall pick when he’s eligible for the NBA draft in 2011, but those projections have softened.

    He left Haifa two months before the end of the season for personal reasons. In the 10 games Tyler played for Haifa, Tyler averaged only 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 7.6 minutes.

    (The AP contributed)

    (Photos courtesy USA Basketball / NY Times)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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