Amar'e Stoudemire Earns MVP Award in Israeli League Championship Game

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By , RADIO.COM

Amar'e Stoudemire never made it to the NBA Finals, but we have to think he'd have performed quite well if he had. After all, in two Western Conference Finals appearances with the Suns in 2005 and in 2010, he averaged 37.0 and 25.0 points per game in the two series, respectively.

But at age 37, he finally got his first Finals MVP award -- or at least the Israeli League equivalent of that honor.

Stoudemire picked up his second Israeli League championship, the first of which he brought home with Hapoel Jerusalem in 2017. This time, he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv, helping the well-known organization capture its third consecutive title alongside consensus NBA lottery pick Deni Avdija.

STAT picked up 18 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of play, while Avdija helped all across the board with five points, seven rebounds and four assists in the 86-81 victory over Maccabi Rishon.

Stoudemire last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season as an occasional starter and big man bench presence for the Miami Heat. He has embraced his Judaism throughout his career, emphasizing his religion once he began professional play in Israel. The Israeli citizen attended Florida International University in Miami as a freshman in 2019 -- he came to the NBA directly out of high school -- with hopes to become a leader at the campus Hillel and to connect African-American and Jewish students.

“I feel like I can be myself here in Israel,” Stoudemire told the New York Post in 2016. “I don’t have to feel like an outcast because I want to live a holy life.”

Though he has not yet indicated whether or not he wants to continue playing, or for how long, he has hinted at what he may pursue after his career is over.

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