It has been quite a year for Rockets forward Omri Casspi.
Not only has he been extremely happy and grateful to have found a fit in Houston, but he’s experienced things off the court beyond his wildest imagination.
Casspi is the NBA’s first Israeli player, and he was invited to the White House for a reception to celebrate the final night of Hanukkah back in December when he snuck in a little one-on-one time with President Barack Obama.
Then on January 22, the Rockets hosted Israel Night when Casspi put on quite a show for approximately 450 fans from Houston’s Israeli community. In a 119-98 win over Sacramento, he recorded a season-high 20 points along with 12 rebounds for his only double-double of the season so far.
His night was topped off by meeting with his fans after the game, including the Israeli Consul General to the Southwest, Meir Shlomo who honored him as an Israeli goodwill ambassador.
“For us it was a big deal that Omri made it as the first-ever Israeli player to the NBA,” Shlomo said. “Everybody in Israel is extremely happy about it, everybody's following what he's doing now in Houston.”
“It's a dream come true,” Casspi said. “It's fun. You make great connections, you get to speak to the strongest man in the world – the leader of the free world – and now I speak to the Israeli Consul here in Houston. I'm grateful for everything's that going on.”