(JTA) — Amar’e Stoudemire is deeply connected to his Jewish faith and likes to travel in style. So it makes sense that the former NBA star brings a token of his spirituality with him on the road.
In an interview with Bloomberg published Wednesday, Stoudemire said he brings an “antique gold menorah” with him wherever he goes — before the pandemic, at least, when he claimed to travel around 50,000 miles by plane per year.
Here’s his description:
I always pack my antique gold menorah. I bought it in Jerusalem, and it’s kind of a small, travel-sized one. It helps the aesthetic of my room whenever I get to my location. It started when I played in the NBA. I always had the menorah inside of my locker with a few books that I would read before I start the game, so it kind of helped me Zen [out] and relax before I went into a battle against another NBA team.
When I started playing overseas, I started taking it with me to road games and then when I traveled to different countries in the offseason. It’s traveled with me to multiple countries and is always on display, wherever I am staying, to remind me of the strength that can be found in struggle. This helps me endure anything.
It shows up as a dark spot on the x-ray at the airport, but it’s not sharp, like a weapon — it has round edges. [TSA agents] will ask, “Are you traveling with jewelry?” and I’m, like, “No, just my menorah.”