Former NBA athlete Shaquille O’Neal wishes Jews a happy Sukkot


Former NBA athlete Shaquille O’Neal wished a happy Sukkot to all the partying Jews.

In a video posted on Twitter Tuesday by Creative Community for Peace, the former basketball legend made a pun with his name and the Sukkot tradition.

“My favorite Jewish holiday is approaching. You know why? Because we all go out and live in shacks,” he joked.

O’Neal performed alongside American-Israeli athlete Amar’e Stoudemire on the Pheonix Suns between 2008 and 2009.

A few years later, Stoudemire played for the Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball teams and was the 2020 Israeli Premier League Basketball MVP.

AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE’s first season with Maccabi Tel Aviv was disrupted by the coronavirus, but the spiritual hoop remained in Israel and embraced the situation. (credit: DOV HALICKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Stoudemire also completed the conversion process to Judaism last year and had been granted full Israeli citizenship the year before while playing professional basketball in the country.

Stoudemire identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African Americans who believe they are related to the biblical Israelites, and observes Jewish holidays.

Josh Halickman and Marcy Oster / JTA contributed to this report.


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