Study the past if you would define the future. - Confucius
A man set out to learn about himself a little more and understand his lineage. In doing so, he may have confused some people about who he is today. Amar'e Carsares Stoudemire is not Jewish, but he is embracing the faith because of a respect for history, religion and a long-known connection deep in his family lineage.
The new Knicks star took the extra free time afforded to him as a result of his departure from USA Basketball to embark on an adventure he had been planning for years.
"I'm studying history & want 2 learn about all religions," Stoudemire said via Twitter on Thursday. "I think I might have some Hebrew Roots & i'm researching it."
We're still getting to know Amar'e here in New York, so we need to understand this is a man who is a deep thinker and is extremely curious about life beyond the typical bubble an NBA player prefers to remain in; the comfort zone. It was a year ago when Stoudemire took it upon himself to read The Art of War, by Chinese military legend Sun Tzu. He was so engaged by the strategic lessons from the book, Amar'e started referring to himself as Sun Tzu and used quotes from the book.
I'm not saying the interest in the Jewish faith is his latest fad, but let's recognize that Amar'e does like to explore all kinds of cultures and history and try to relate it to himself and his career. Still, Stoudemire very well could be Jewish in blood, whether or not he is in faith.
Born in Lake Wales, Fla., Amar'e learned that on the side of his mother, Carrie Mae, there may be some Jewish heritage deep in the family history. With that knowledge, Stoudemire has long wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and learn more about the Hebrew faith, along with the history of other religions. This summer provided the opportunity.
"He wants to see the birthplace of Christianity and the Holy sites of Islam," Stoudemire's agent, Happy Walters, said. "It's his summer vacation."
Walters said it is possible Stoudemire could be Jewish by blood and that his client has always wanted to research it further.
"Being open minded toward other cultures is beautiful," Stoudemire wrote on Twitter. "Studying your heritage is very important. 'What's a Tree w/o Roots' Le'chayim, 1love."