Amar'e Stoudemire to play in Israel next season

Ex-NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire will continue his basketball career in Israel.

The 14-year veteran announced Monday that he's signed a two-year contract with Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem.

As part of the agreement,Stoudemire will sell his shares in the club to Dr. Ori Allon, president and majority owner of Hapoel Jerusalem.

"I'm sure everyone has been documenting my journey with the homeland the past six, seven years, my interest in Israel. At this moment, that dream has come true," Stoudemire said at a press conference at Madison Square Garden.

Stoudemire, a six-time All Star, announced his retirement from the NBA last week after signing a contract with the New York Knicks.

Stoudemire's agent, Happy Walters, said Stoudemire had several NBA offers from non-playoff teams but Stoudemire decided after some reflection that it was time to retire from the league.

Stoudemire described Hapoel as "a team that I'm looking forward to playing with, a team that's looking forward to my arrival.... So I'm excited about the next journey."

Stoudemire, 33, averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 games over 14 seasons with Phoenix, New York, Dallas and Miami. The 6-foot-10 big man was selected to two All-NBA first teams after turning pro out of high school, rising to prominence first as the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 2003, then as part of a devastating pick-and-roll combo with Steve Nash.
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