Amar’e Carsares Jehoshaphat Stoudemire (1982- )

Amar'e Stoudemire playing with the Phoenix Suns
Amar'e Stoudemire playing with the Phoenix Suns
Photo by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Amar’e Stoudemire is an American-Israeli professional basketball player and coach, actor, and entrepreneur born in Lake Wales, Florida on November 16, 1982. After a successful career in the National Basketball Association, he moved to Israel to explore his Jewish identity.

Stoudemire was born to Hazell and Carrie (née Palmorn) Stoudemire on November 16, 1982. The couple divorced when he was young. Carrie remarried Artis Wilmore, with whom she had a son, Marwan. His mother did agricultural work. His father died of a heart attack when Stoudemire was 12, and his mother served prison time for petty theft and forgery.

As a teenager, Stoudemire transferred between five high schools in two states before relocating to Port Jervis, New York where he lived until 1998. In his parents’ absence, Stoudemire received guidance from Burney Hayes, a policeman, Travis King, his AAU coach, and Reverend Bill Williams.

Stoudemire did not start playing organized basketball until he was 14. Due to his moves, he missed his entire junior year of basketball and only played two full seasons.

In his senior year, Stoudemire averaged 29.1 points, 15 rebounds, 6.1 blocked shots, and 2.1 steals per game and was selected to play in the 2002 McDonald’s All-American Game at Madison Square Garden. He was named Florida’s Mr. Basketball, and listed as the No. 1 high school player in the nation. That same year he was selected in the in the first round of the NBA draft.

Stoudemire played for the Phoenix Suns, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat. In 2003 he was the NBA Rookie of the Year, made six appearances in the NBA All-Star Game and was named to the All-NBA Team five times.

After retiring from the NBA in 2016, Stoudemire played with Hapoel Jerusalem, an Israeli Basketball Premier League team now he co-owns. In 2016, he helped Hapoel Jerusalem win the Israeli Basketball League Cup. He won the championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2020 and was named the Israeli Basketball Premier League Finals MVP.

From 2020 through 202 he served as a player development assistant for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. Stoudemire has had numerous business ventures including a clothing line with designer Rachel Roy, a record label named Hypocalypto, and an Israeli kosher wine label called Stoudemire Cellars.

Stoudemire has four children with his wife, Alexis Welch. They were divorced in 2021. His older brother, Hazel, died in an auto accident in 2012.

Stoudemire was raised Baptist but, through his mother, he associated with the Black Hebrew Israelites. In 2010 he visited Israel that year, saying he intended “to get a better understanding of [his] heritage.” In March 2019, he received Israeli citizenship, and adopted the name Yahoshafat Ben Avraham. He formally converted to Judaism in 2020.

Stoudemire has many acting credits, including appearances on TV shows Law & Order: SVU, Entourage, Sesame Street, and Fox’s comedy series, The Mindy Project. He had a role in the film, MacGruber, and appeared in the blockbuster romance New Year’s Eve. His movie credits also include Trainwreck.

Stoudemire authored a series of middle-grade chapter books called STAT: Standing Tall And Talented for the Scholastic Press.