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Amar’e Stoudemire to help coach Canadian team in Israel this summer

Apr 11, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

New York Knicks forward Stoudemire shares a laugh with teammate and guard Smith after he entered their NBA game with the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter in New York Reuters

Remember a couple few ago, when Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the Knicks — the then savior of the franchise —  and he drew the eyes of the the basketball world? At least the parts not focused on South Beach?

At the time he had discovered his Hebrew roots through his mother and had studied up on it, even going back to Israel to further his knowledge. Now he is headed back but to further other’s basketball knowledge.

Stoudemire will be part of the coaching delegation for the Canadian basketball entrant in the Maccabiah Games, an every four years Jewish athletic games in Israel (long called the Jewish Olympics). The New York Times has the details.

For the eclectic Stoudemire, who has also written children’s books and is the subject of a documentary that will have its premiere April 19 on EPIX, the coaching role is new, but the destination will not be. …

“It was a bit of a dream scenario to reach out to Amar’e because of his discovering his Jewish roots and his playing basketball,” Alex Brainis, the head of Maccabi Canada’s delegation, said. “We figured that if he said yes, this would be a big recruiting tool.”

The games are big — 8,500 athletes from 70 countries are expected to compete. What kind of coach Stoudemire would make remains to be seen, but at this level of play he certainly has the knowledge of the game to be helpful.

First, he has to get back from another knee surgery to help the Knicks — he is expected to return around the start of the first round. The Knicks have found a groove entering the playoffs, with 13 straight wins, it will be interesting to see if Stoudemire’s return has any impact on that, positively or negatively.

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