Omri Casspi okays Houston Rockets deal

Texas to host both Israeli-born NBA players as Gal Mekel signs with Dallas Mavericks.

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli-born player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history, will don a Houston Rockets uniform for the next two years in a $2 million deal. The Houston Rockets are the six foot nine inches tall forward’s third NBA team, following the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Casspi was born and raised in the town of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv. He made his professional debut as a 17-year-old with Israel’s basketball powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 2005-06 season. Casspi’s best season in the NBA so far was his rookie season in 2009-2010 when he averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Kings.

Casspi will be joined by a second Israeli-born player in the state of Texas. Point guard Gal Mekel, 25, signed a three-year, $2.3 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

“Gal is a smart player. He picks up things quick,” Monte Mathis, the Mavericks’ summer league head coach told the Star-Telegram. “I’m just trying to get him to understand our defensive schemes and things like that, and being a guy that causes problems off pick-and-rolls offensively.”

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.