Many thanks to Eran Soroka of the Ma’ariv Sports Newspaper for hooking me up with these quotes and pictures.
“I’m very excited and happy to be the first Israeli in the NBA. It’s every player’s dream. I’ve been through a long journey until I became a first round pick. The Kings weren’t ver successful last year in the league, and they’re trying to rebuild.” – Omri Casspi
(credit: Eran Soroka, Ma’ariv): Omri Casspi
“I think that the Kings are excited as well. I talked with them after the pick, I’ll speak to the coach later. All along the way, they told me they believe in me and want to see me. I think that Sacramento is a great place to grow and develop as a player.” – Omri Casspi
“I know I’ll leave a good impression of the Israeli player to the ones who’ll follow”, he added. “I hope to open the door to others, who play nowadays in youth leagues. It’s a great honour to the Israeli basketball, and I’ll be happy when people will wake up early in the morning to watch the Kings’ games”. – Omri Casspi
Casspi, accompanied at the table by Maccabi Tel Aviv eternal chairman Shimon Mizrachi and his father, Shimon Casspi, was trying to relive the moment of the pick: “It was an exciting moment. When David Stern went to the podium, I saw this smile, like he’s trying to hide something he knows. When he said ‘Omri Casspi’, it was a feeling I can’t describe. It was a dream came true, from the days I woke up in the middle of the night to see Michael Jordan and the great Chicago Bulls”.
“I think that the situation in Sacramento is great for me. It’s a team that tries to build for the long run, and I believe that slowly, something beautiful can be built there. The team officials told me they believe in me, I think every player in the squad will be given a chance. I hope to prove myself on the court”. – Omri Casspi
(credit: Eran Soroka, Ma’ariv):
Omri Casspi, center, accompanied by Maccabi Tel Aviv Chairman Shimon Mizrachi (Yellow shirt) and his father Shimon Casspi.