ORLANDO, Fla. (BVM) – Though Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t spend a lot of time at Cypress Creek High School, that didn’t mean he didn’t leave an impression on the school and its community. Only enrolled at the school for his senior year, Stoudemire was an instant star for the Bears basketball team. In his lone campaign, the center was selected as the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Player of the Year and Florida’s Mr. Basketball after he averaged 29.1 points, 15 rebounds and 6.1 blocks per game.
Stoudemire immediately declared for the 2002 NBA Draft where he was taken with the No. 9 overall pick in the first round by the Phoenix Suns as the only high school player selected in the round that year. The big man went on to have a stellar 15-year NBA career where he averaged 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game and earned numerous achievements including being named an All-Star six times, All-NBA five times, a member of the All-Rookie team and 2002-03 Rookie of the Year.
While his NBA career ended in 2016, Stoudemire continued playing overseas, particularly in Israel where he played four years and eventually earned citizenship in the country in 2019. Following his time in the NBA, Stoudemire also converted to Judaism and launched a kosher, Israeli wine label called Stoudemire Cellars.
In 2020, Stoudemire returned to the NBA as a coach for the Brooklyn Nets where he worked under former Phoenix Suns’ teammate Steve Nash. Stoudemire held the role until May when he said he was stepping away from the position due to his religious observance of Shabbat which interfered with the working schedule.
Though away from basketball for the time being, Stoudemire has kept himself busy. In 2014, when he was still a member of the New York Knicks, Stoudemire had bought a 185-acre farm in Hyde Park, New York which he tends today. There, Stoudemire raises Black Angus cattle and other livestock in an ethical and sustainable way in an effort to build on the legacy of African-American farmers of the past.
While the future in basketball remains uncertain, it is clear that Stoudemire has found other passions to help fill that void. Whether his journey keeps him in his farm in New York or back to Israel, Stoudemire certainly doesn’t seem to be a man slowing down anytime soon.
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