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What Do NBA Basketballers and Jews Have In Common?

You’d be surprised.

The following are all stories from the last few weeks.

Knick’s knack for Hebrew?

Amare Stoudemire kippaAmar’e Stoudemire wants to get into education, but it has nothing to do with basketball. A source close to the New York Knick tells us the power forward is interested in opening a Hebrew school, which would focus on teaching the language and Jewish history. The insider says the idea appears to be on the back burner for the time being but that Stoudemire has discussed it seriously. The 29-year-old renaissance man, who speaks some Hebrew himself, went to Israel during the summer of 2010 to learn more about his Jewish heritage on his mother’s side of the family. He also sports a Star of David tattoo on his hand, and, after returning from the Holy Land, follows a Kosher diet. Another source close to the b-baller tells us Amar’e is “always looking for ways to improve education and resources for all children,” but “no school of any kind is currently in the works.”

LeBronstein?

Shocking — LeBron James played a basketball game in Ohio last night, the same state where they lit his jersey on fire last year.

More Shocking — Dude was a last minute fill-in for a team at the Mandel Jewish Community Center, where he instantly became the best player to ever compete in the Herbert S. Diamond league.

TMZ has learned … LeBron was killing time in his home state … when he got a call from some of his friends who had a 7:30 PM game at the JCC.

We’re told LBJ’s pals were a man short, so they reached out to LBJ to fill in … and King James was happy to oblige.

Obviously , LeBron dominated — and led his squad to a ten point victory.

We’re told LeBron was super nice … taking photos and signing autographs with a bunch of kids who happened to be down the hall rehearsing for the musical “Grease.”

Afterwards, LeBron tweeted “Just got done hooping in the JCC league.  So funny but good run @RichPaul4 had a few 3’s #basketballneverstops.

(Of course, we already knew LeBron likes to hang with us)

Kobe at the JCC

Hanukkah came early for a bunch of Jews in Irvine, CA tonight — when Kobe Bryant rolled up to the local Jewish Community Center and asked if he could borrow the basketball court for a hardcore private training session … TMZ has learned.

Yentas at the JCC tell us … the honchos at the center were more than happy to let Kobe use the facility — and the Black Mamba couldn’t have been nicer.

Kobe and a trainer proceeded to work on shooting drills and cardio training while a gang of the chosen people looked on in amazement.

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Coach Kenny

Kenny Anderson has heard plenty in his three decades in the basketball limelight.
 
This was a new one.
 
“A guy missed practice because he had an acting class,” Anderson said. “I didn’t know what to say.”
 
This is basketball at a level that is taking some getting used to for Anderson. This is a guy who was a three-time Parade High School All-American at legendary Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, N.Y., led Georgia Tech to the Final Four in 1990 and played 14 seasons as a point guard in the NBA, retiring in 2005 with one All-Star appearance on his resume.
 
Anderson now is head coach at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale best known for being home of the Miami Dolphins training facility.

—-

The Rams, who play in Florida’s 2A urban private school league (the second smallest of eight), are a young team. Still, that didn’t make it a lot easier for Anderson to watch the Rams lose their opener on the road 67-32 to Donna Klein Jewish Academy of Boca Raton and then fall 62-46 in the home opener to Upperroom Christian Academy of Fort Lauderdale.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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