22 Oct, 2020

It’s official – former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has completed his conversion to Judaism.

Stoudemire, who now goes by the hebrew name Yehoshafat (Jehoshaphat) became a citizen of Israel in March 2019 while playing professional basketball in the Israeli league, said on Wednesday in an Instagram post that his conversion to Judaism is complete.

Stoudemire said in the post that he had his last meeting with the beit din, (rabbinical court), and immersed himself in the mikvah, (ritual bath) in Bnei Brak in central Israel.

He said that over two years ago that he was in the process of converting to Judaism.

Stoudemire once identified with the Hebrew Israelites – black people who believe they are the real biblical Israelites, and he said that he observes Jewish holidays including fasting on Yom Kippur.

The 6-10 forward played for both the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns as well as other teams in his 16-year NBA career. During that time he was named Rookie of the Year and made six All-Star teams. He also played for Jerusalem’s team, Hapoel Jerusalem from 2016 to 2019 and still owns part of the Israeli team.

In January, after playing three months for the Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association, he signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israel Basketball League. He was named Most Valuable Player in its championship game.