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Coming home: Maccabi signed Omri Casspi

After 10 years in the best league in the world, the first Israeli in the NBA returns to the club where he grew up: "I couldn't believe I would be that excited". Sfairopoulos: "We signed the best Israeli player"

13/08/2019
HOME · News · Coming home: Maccabi signed Omri Casspi
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv is proud and excited to announce the return home of Omri Casspi, the first Israeli in the NBA. The Forward grew in Maccabi's youth teams from the age of 13, earning his firstpro debut in 2004. Back then he was a 16-year-old who won the state U16 championship. In the 2005/6 season he joined the first team and had Euroleague and Israeli league debuts, the beginning of an impressive career.

Omri Casspi (31, 2.06m), captain of the Israeli national team since the summer of 2015, recently ended a 10 years spell in the NBA. He made history when he was picked 23rd in the 2009 draft and received a guaranteed contract with Sacramento. In doing so, the young forward became the first Israeli to be drafted in the first round, the first to receive a contract and later also the first to play in the league.

"Omri Casspi returned to his home, to Maccabi", commented head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos to maccabi.co.il, the club's official website. "I am very pleased that we signed the best Israeli player. Omri will help the team very well to achieve our goals and he is excited to come back and help the team fight for its goals. Maccabi brought back the best Israeli player and that is kind of a statement".

Omri Casspi told maccabi.co.il after signing with the club: "The truth is that I am very excited, I did not believe I would be that excited. I am returning home, returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv. I got here for the first time when I was 13 years old. I am proud and excited to be wearing the Maccabi jersey with the star of David on the back. This is a very big privilege".

"This is the time to pay gratitude to Maccabi who waited until mid-August, until the moment we made the decision to return to play in Israel", Casspi added and emphasized: "It's not common. It shows a lot about the nature of the organization and I'm happy to join".



Besides Sacramento, Casspi has also played over the years in Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans, Minnesota, Golden State and Memphis. Omri serves as the captain of the Israeli national team and also has a nice NBA championship ring, a memory from his days at Golden State. His best game of the season from a personal standpoint was when he scored 17 points in 37 minutes (with 6 3-pointers) for Memphis' 101: 111 loss to Milwaukee.

Omri's best game in the NBA (December 2015) was also a duel that received a lot of resonance thanks to a "personal threesome competition" between him and Steph Curry of Golden State. The Israeli scored 36 points in 35 minutes with 9 of 12 3pt shots - thea career high in 3pts made per game. The Warriors' phenomenal guard answered with 23 points and 6 threes. That season, the Forward also set his rebounding record for a league game with 17 against the Clippers.

As mentioned, Casspi returns to the club where he started his career. After his debut season he was loaned to Hapoel Galil Elyon and returned in 2007 to Maccabi Tel Aviv. That season he played 45 games - 20 Euroleague and 25 in the Israeli league - and reached the Euroleague final. In the 2008/9 season, the young forward has already upgraded his average to 8.8 points in the Euroleague and 13 points per night in the local league.



Maccabi's new-old forward has previously won 2 local championships and one state cup and is now home after a decade in the NBA, experienced and hungry more than ever. Omri, who was named last year as the "70 years Athlete" by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is married to Shani and is a father of two girls, the youngest of whom was born last July.

Instagram: omricasspi18

Twitter: Casspi18

Facebook: @Omri


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