1) Is Amare Stoudemire heading back to Israel and Hapoel Jerusalem as long as he doesn’t get an NBA offer of interest? Jerusalem sas yes, but Amare says, not so fast…The NBA All-Star spent the 2016/17 season in the Holy Land and could make his return to the capital this time under Head Coach Oded Katash. “I’m very happy that Amare has come back to Jerusalem and it was no secret that both sides wanted this to happen,” Katash said. “There’s no need to go into detail as to what Amare brings to the table and what he can contribute to Jerusalem both on the professional and leadership sides on and off of the court. Everyone will benefit from Amare being here.”
However, soon thereafter Amare and his wife put up the following messages on Instagram:
And then Jerusalem put out the following statement, “There have been many discussions with Amare in the last while. In the last week, he indicated to management that should be not sign with an NBA team he would play with Jerusalem this coming season. That was why an announcement was made. If Amare was hurt by this, we sincerely apologize and we’re sure that he will be with us next season at the Arena should he not be playing in the NBA.”
Later on in the evening CEO & GM Guy Harel posted on Facebook an apology that he had made a mistake while offering refunds no questions asked to those who purchased season tickets due to the Amare announcement made earlier in the day. A fiasco…I’m sure this is not the last we’re going to hear about this story.
2) Israel National Team Head Coach Oded Katash spoke about what the keys to Monday’s game against Great Britain will be, “This is a very tough game against a very athletic national team. They have to win and it will be a very physical and intense game. We have to stop them running the floor and we also have to make sure that we don’t turnover the ball. On the offensive rebounding we’ll have to be very intensive. They also have very intelligent guards and we will have to be careful as to who we pressure and when. It’s good that there is pressure on us and the players are very well aware of it.”
Veteran Guy Pnini also spoke about the importance of the game, “This is an important game for our campaign to continue to the next stage and this is a good dance for us to show everyone that Israeli basketball is alive and well with quality players. We have a lot of motivation going into this game.”
Quick Hits – Hapoel Beer Sheva fell to Lech Poznan in a preseason friendly as Loai Taha scored for the southern Reds…Beitar Jerusalem defeated Budapest Honved 1:10 with Miki Siroshtein scoring the winner…Roie Goldstein is Israel’s Cycling Champions after winning the 147 race in Israel on Saturday…Hapoel Tel Aviv FC opened up training camp on Sunday as they return to the Israel Premier League…Miki Gorka is the new Ironi Nahariya BC coach after spending last season as an assistant for Hapoel Jerusalem and head coach for Bnei Herzliya…Gary Browne Ramirez will continue with Nes Ziona BC…Demetrius Treadwell will stay with Hapoel Eilat BC for another season after the team picked up his option…