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Amare Stoudemire gets Israel invite

JERUSALEM (AP) - The president of Israel has invited New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire to play for the country's national basketball team because of his ties to Judaism.

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Shimon Peres met with Stoudemire on Thursday to discuss the player's charity efforts. Stoudemire, who says he has ``Hebrew roots,'' has traveled to Israel before and Peres urged him to help the national team.

The six-time NBA All-Star already has significant ties to Israeli basketball. Last month, he joined a group looking to buy Hapoel Jerusalem, a team in Israel's top league. Stoudemire is in Israel to coach the Canadian basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, a competition for Jewish athletes.

Stoudemire won a bronze medal with the United States at the 2004 Olympics but has not played for the national team since 2007.

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