Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, helped lead the Golden State Warriors to their eighth straight win, then celebrated by lighting a giant Chanukiah as part of the team’s Jewish Heritage Night.
Casspi scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds in the Warriors’ victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, among the top performances of his nine-year NBA career, The Jewish News of Northern California reported.
After the game, Casspi helped light a menorah almost as tall as the 6-foot-9 forward. He chanted the Chanukah prayers with Rabbi Yosef Langer, executive director of Chabad of San Francisco, as hundreds of Jewish fans — some attending their first Warriors game — looked on at Oracle Arena.
Casspi told the newspaper that lighting the menorah on the Warriors’ court was a “privilege, it just means the world to me.”
Danny Grossman, CEO of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation, was at the game along with other community and spiritual leaders, and said it was appropriate that Casspi had his best night since joining the Warriors in July on a one-year deal.