NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire heads to Israel after discovering Jewish roots

‘This is my dream,’ tweets New York Knicks forward en route to Holy Land.

U.S. Basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire is apparently on his way to Israel for a voyage of discovery after learning he has Jewish roots.

“On the flight to Israel. This is going to be a great trip,” announced the power forward, who plays in the NBA for the New York Nicks, via the micro-blogging site Twitter.

According to an Army Radio report, Stoudemire plans to spend time in Israel learning Hebrew, having recently learned he has a Jewish mother.

“The holy land. Learn about it,” he wrote, adding “ze ha’halom sheli” – Hebrew for ‘this is my dream’.

News of Stoudemire’s trip quickly had Israeli basketball fans buzzing with speculation that they might one day see him playing alongside another Jewish NBA star, Israel’s Omri Caspi, on the national team.

So far there is no indication as to whether Stoudemire is here to stay – although for the moment, Israel seems to be getting along just fine without him, beating Great Britain 86-82 in Tueday’s training game.