Omri Casspi
Photo: Eli Elgarat

Omri Casspi lands in Sacramento

First Israeli to be picked in first round of NBA draft presented with his new Sacramento Kings jersey at greeting ceremony

Two days after making history by becoming the first Israeli ever to be picked in the first round of the NBA draft, basketball player Omri Casspi was greeted in Sacramento on Sunday and presented with his new Sacramento Kings jersey , bearing the number 18.


Casspi, along with the two other draft picks - Tyreke Evans and Jon Brockman, were presented in a festive ceremony at the city's Marshall Park, which also included music and fireworks.


Local media outlets in Sacramento reported that the three players seemed a bit overwhelmed by the reception, and that Casspi appeared to be still somewhat jet lagged.


"I didn't expect all that. I'm happy to be here and to see that the fans really like us and want us to succeed," said Casspi.


A dream come true

Casspi, a 6-foot-9, 20-year-old forward with Maccabi Tel Aviv, was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 23rd pick in draft on Thursday night.


It's the first time an Israeli has been selected in the first round of the draft and guarantees Casspi a two-year contract that will likely pave the way for him to also become the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA.


"I can't speak," Casspi said, tears pouring down his face. "I've been waiting for this moment all my life ... I'm as happy as can be. We made history. I feel like I am in a dream."


Casspi led Maccabi Tel Aviv to a league championship this past year, averaging 12.6 points per game, and was named to the all-league team. He also starts for the Israel national basketball team.


Associated Press contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 06.28.09, 15:24
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