The Sacramento Kings selected forward Omri Casspi at the 23rd pick of the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden last week. The 6-foot-9-inch 21-year-old is the first Israeli ever to be drafted by an NBA team in the first round of the selection process.
Casspi watched the draft from his home in Yavne so he could share the experience with his family.
“I can’t speak,” Casspi said, tears pouring down his face. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life… I’m as happy as can be. We made history. I feel like I am in a dream. I’m in a great place now and the goal is to become a legitimate NBA player.”
Several other Israeli basketball stars have been drafted into the NBA but none have ever actually played in a game. Casspi is guaranteed a contract and will wear number 13 when he suits up with the Kings next season. It’s the same number he wore while playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Article compiled by International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; icej.org.