October 29, 2009, Updated September 24, 2012

Omri Casspi made history on Wednesday as the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA. The rookie had a dream start, scoring 15 points in only 19 minutes. His team however, did not fare as well, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-89. Casspi made seven of nine shots and grabbed three rebounds.

Interviewed on Israel Army radio the following morning, Casspi, who was profiled recently on ISRAEL21c, was pleased with his achievement, while disappointed with the game’s result: “… I would have preferred to score six or eight points and win,” he said.

Responding to a question about how it felt to make history, he said, “When I was in the dressing room, I sat and thought about where I had started… and I said to myself: ‘Wow… I’m going to compete for the first time in an NBA game… and I’m making history for our country, being the first Israeli player. And I thought ‘I’ve come a long way.’ I had a big smile on my face and I said to myself, ‘Let’s enjoy this night.’ ”

But the Israeli player said he had no time to dwell on his first game, adding that, “Life in the NBA is very fast and we still have 81 games to play.”

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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