Basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire and his wife Alexis recently sat down with Essence magazine to dish about family life.
The couple and their 4 children live out a happy, humble, existence in New york City. As practitioners of Messianic Judaism, their household is rather traditional in some ways, especially dinnertime. The children eagerly gather around the table, with the patriarch seated at the head. The children fight (but not physically) over who will get to pray first before digging into their kosher meals.
“There’s this game we play that I started years ago,” Amar’e explains. During the evening, once Amar’e has had a chance to look over their completed school work, each child is given a chance to shine when asked to discuss what they are currently learning. As a reward for their diligence they receive loving hugs from Dad. Alexis adds that, especially when her husband is not on the road, she and the kids spend a lot of time at the table having family time as they talk about their days. Of course, dinner is often prepared by a personal chef in a beautiful home, so who wouldn’t want to spend their time in it?
The 9000 sq foot penthouse is complete with wrap-around terraces, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Hudson River. Apart from Friday evenings which are dedicated to observing Shabbat, the Stoudemire home is not surprisingly a space for entertaining their beloved friends. Frequent visitors include producer Timbaland, and football player Victor Cruz and longtime girlfriend Elaina.”We just hang out and have a good time,” says Alexis. “After the hustle of the day, getting together with people you can lean on is so important. We cherish it.”
Amar’e and Alexis met in 2002 at a party hosted by rapper Nelly. The two ended up chatting the night away, as both were underage for alcohol consumption and thus shuffled off from the rest of the guests. Amar’e explains that the connection was instant and even recalls praying for the type of woman he wished to marry the night before. No doubt she fit the bill; the two have been together for 12 years now and their children range from 8 to 1.
In a 2010 interview Amar’e stated, “I have been aware since my youth that I am a Hebrew through my mother, and that is something that has played a subtle but important role in my development.” From the picture of family life Alexis and he shared with Essence, it seems as though the same will be true for his children.