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February 28, 2022 12:46 pm
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NBA Vets Amare Stoudemire, Enes Kanter Freedom Watch Yeshiva University Championship With Pre-Game Prayer for Ukraine

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Amare Stoudemire (left) and Enes Kanter Freedom stand beside YU President Dr. Ari Berman for a pre-game prayer on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Photo: Screenshot/YU & MacsLive.

NBA veterans Amare Stoudemire and Enes Kanter Freedom watched from the sidelines as Yeshiva University’s Maccabees competed on Sunday in the Skyline Conference Championship, which began with a pregame prayer for peace in Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

Freedom, an 11-year league veteran who was recently waived by the Houston Rockets, and Stoudemire, the former NBA player who not long ago completed his conversion to Judaism, stood next to YU President Dr. Ari Berman and bowed their heads while he recited a prayer calling for the end of war and the “protection and safety of all of humanity, especially during this time that war rages in the world.”

The nationally ranked No. 20 YU Maccabees are now consecutive Skyline Conference champions following Sunday afternoon’s 74-40 win over the Valiants from Manhattanville College at the Max Stern Athletic Center in Manhattan. The win earned the Maccabees an automatic bid in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which will begin next weekend. The NCAA Selection Show will take place on Monday.

Also in attendance at Sunday’s game was the Jewish co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks Marc Lasry, who said he was at the game in part to scout new players for the NBA franchise. He told the YU team before the game started, “after the championship [win], more and more and then hopefully, one of you guys will be with the Milwaukee Bucks.”

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