Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Israel to the N.B.A., Missing the Hummus

The New York Times, By Howard Beck (18/7/2009) LAS VEGAS — The first Israeli in the N.B.A., Omri Casspi, is busily trying to adapt to life in the United States...

Then there are weightier adjustments, like getting used to being the greatest hope in Israeli basketball history.

No Israeli has ever played in the N.B.A. Until last month, none had ever been drafted in the first round.

When the Kings took Casspi with the 23rd pick, he became the first Israeli to secure a guaranteed contract, which will almost assuredly make him the first to play in an N.B.A. game...

Casspi’s arrival has energized Jews in Sacramento. A large contingent — many wearing jerseys with Casspi’s name spelled in Hebrew — turned out for a postdraft rally. They have taken Casspi on tours of the city and offered assistance in finding a house, a car and, naturally, some good restaurants.

“I feel blessed, really, to be in this situation,” Casspi said.

He is, however, still searching for a good Israeli restaurant and a worthy tub of hummus.

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