Ex-NBA Star Amar'e Stoudemire Converts to Orthodox Judaism, Seeks Life Partner Amar'e Stoudemire talks to press at Ronald S. Lauder JNF House on Feb. 20, 2018, in New York City. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Stoudemire Wines)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 30 December 2021 08:56 AM
Former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire has converted to Orthodox Judaism and said he's willing to use a matchmaker to find a life partner.
Stoudemire, a six-time NBA All-Star, played for Israeli teams Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv. He converted to Judaism while living in Israel in August 2020.
The 6-foot-10 former forward now lives in Brooklyn, and recently told his Instagram followers that he's looking for a new partner, saying he's ready for a "shidduch."
"Shidduch" (match) dating is a common way for Orthodox Jews to meet future spouses.
Stoudemire, who filed for divorce from his wife Alexis Welch in 2019, said he was seeking a a Jewish partner.
"It would make life easier, because she will understand me a little better," he said during a Dec. 16 Instagram live chat, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Stoudemire discussed his search for a partner, saying he valued "honesty" and that "I love to receive love through affection and honesty," The Algemeiner reported.
He even gave out his email address so followers could send him suggestions.
A recent episode of HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" told of Stoudemire’s life and religious conversion.
"It's just been like a quest for searching for emet, searching for truth," Stoudemire said in the HBO episode. He added: "I’m for sure a different person than I was before."
He told HBO that that his mother claimed they were from "the lost tribes of Israel," referring to an African Hebrew Israelite group. He told Instagram users he never considered converting to any religion other than Judaism because "being a Jew/Israelite isn’t a chose [sic] for me … [it’s] my heritage from birth," The Algemeiner reported.
Stoudemire told his Instagram followers that his four children embrace their Jewish lifestyle, and that his favorite aspects of Shabbat are reading from the Torah and Friday night dinner.
When asked if me missed something from his previous lifestyle, Stoudemire said, "Funny thing is I can do everything I love to do, being Jewish."
Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in a 14-year career mainly spit between the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. He remains a part owner of Hapoel Jerusalem, and works as an assistant player development coach for the Brooklyn Nets.