It was “Israeli Heritage Day” with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, in honor of Omri Casspi, the first and only Israeli to play in the NBA. The 22-year-old native of Yavne is in his second season with the Sacramento Kings.
The festivities consisted of Jewish fans lining up to high-five the Twolves entering at the start of the game, and then assembling at the opposite tunnel to greet Casspi and the visitors at the beginning of the second half.
Casspi told the Jewish World following the game that he has been having an “up and down” sophomore season. His numbers this year, as far as minutes (25.4) and points per game (9.2), are comparable to his stats from last season.
Regarding the local Jewish contingent cheering him on, Casspi said that he is “very grateful” for the support he gets from the Jewish fans in Sacramento and other NBA cities.
The young hoopster has been playing professionally since he was 17. On the Maccabi Tel Aviv roster, Casspi was an early entry candidate picked in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft (23rd overall), and signed a multi-year contract with Sacramento.
During warmups on Sunday, Casspi chatted with the Timberwolves gigantic center Nikola Peckovic. Casspi said he got to know Peckovic from playing against him in European championship series. Peckovic played for Montenegro.
Casspi and his teammates were in a good mood following the Kings first road win in nine games. They trounced the hapless Wolves 127-95.Â — Mordecai Specktor
Leave a Reply