Casspi dunks during a preseason game, October 2013
|No. 18 – Houston Rockets|
June 22, 1988 |
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|NBA draft||2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23rd overall|
|Selected by the Sacramento Kings|
|Pro playing career||2005–present|
|2005–2006||Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)|
|2006–2007||Hapoel Galil Elyon (Israel)|
|2007–2009||Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Omri Moshe Casspi (Hebrew: עומרי כספי, born June 22, 1988) is an Israeli professional basketball player who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) tall, and plays the small forward position.
He was drafted 23rd overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, making him the first Israeli to be selected in the first round of the draft. With his debut with the Kings in 2009, Casspi became the first Israeli to play in an NBA game. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for him in June 2011. He signed with the Houston Rockets in July 2013.
As a child Casspi played for Elitzur Yavne B.C. and Maccabi Rishon LeZion. When he was 13 he moved to the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth team, winning the State Youth Championship in 2005. Simultaneously he played for his high school basketball team.
Casspi started on the Maccabi Tel Aviv cadet team. He made his professional debut at age 17 with Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 2005–06 season. He joined Hapoel Galil Elyon on-loan during the 2006–07 season, and was one of its leading players, winning the "Discovery of the Year" award in the end of the season. In April 2007 he scored 14 points for the World Select team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Memphis.
He returned to Maccabi in 2007. He became part of the team rotation for the following seasons. The team reached the Euroleague Finals in 2008 and won a state championship in 2009. Casspi received the 2008 Israeli League Sixth Man of the Year Award. In February 2009, he finished in fourth place in voting for the FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award for the 2008–09 season, behind Ricky Rubio, Danilo Gallinari, and Kosta Koufos.
In a pre-season exhibition game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on October 11, 2007, Casspi started the game and shot three-for-three from the floor, including a three-pointer, for eight points in 16 minutes of playing time.
In 2009, Casspi again declared himself available for the draft. He was drafted 23rd overall by the Sacramento Kings, a team that the prior year had the worst record both in the league and in franchise history. He became the first Israeli player selected as a first round draft pick. Not since Oded Kattash agreed to a contract with the New York Knicks in 1999 had an Israeli player come so close to playing in the NBA. In July, Casspi signed a 3-year contract worth $3.5 million.
On October 28, 2009, Casspi made his NBA debut for the Kings against the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 15 points. On December 16, 2009, Casspi made his first NBA start. Scoring 22 points against the Washington Wizards, he tied the most points scored by any Kings player in his first start since the team moved to Sacramento in 1985.
On January 1, 2010, Casspi scored a career-high 23 points against the Los Angeles Lakers (along with 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 3 assists) as the Kings lost, 109–108. On January 2, 2010, he grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against the Dallas Mavericks (along with 22 points, 1 steal, and 4 assists) as the Kings lost, 99–91. On January 5, 2010, Casspi set a new career high with 24 points against the Phoenix Suns (along with 7 rebounds, 1 assist, no turnovers, and 10–19 from the field) as the Kings lost, 113–109.
In 2010–11, Casspi played in 71 games for Sacramento (starting 27 of them). He averaged 8.6 points, shot .412 shooting (including .372 from three-point range), and averaged 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per game. In his 27 starts, averaged 10.7 points on .435 shooting, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 31.3 minutes per game. In his two seasons for Sacramento, he averaged 9.5 points on .431 shooting, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.
On November 1, for the first time Israelis on opposing NBA teams faced each other, as the Rockets played Gal Mekel and the Dallas Mavericks; the two were teammates on the Israeli Under 16, Under 18, and Under 20 teams, and on the Maccabi Tel Aviv junior team.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
|2005–06||Maccabi Tel Aviv||3||0||2.7||.000||.000||.500||.0||.0||.0||.0||.7||- 1.7|
|2007–08||Maccabi Tel Aviv||20||7||11.3||.545||.286||.600||2.1||.6||.3||.3||4.5||4.7|
|2008–09||Maccabi Tel Aviv||16||8||17.5||.505||.450||.771||3.1||.4||.8||.2||8.8||7.1|
|2005–06||Maccabi Tel Aviv||21||9.4||2.1||.9||.5||.1||4.2|
|2006–07||Hapoel Galil Elyon||28||20.7||3.1||1.1||.9||.4||11.1|
|2007–08||Maccabi Tel Aviv||27||20.3||4.0||1.4||.4||.3||10.4|
|2008–09||Maccabi Tel Aviv||27||25.3||4.8||1.8||.4||.3||12.8|
- Including Playoff games
- "Casspi scores 15 in dream NBA debut". Jerusalem Post. October 29, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- Rockets Sign Omri Casspi
- Aron Heller (July 30, 2010). "Knicks' Stoudemire in Israel to Trace Hebrew Roots". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- "Mural of NBA player Casspi defaced again". USA Today. Associated Press. September 17, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Nate Bloom (January 21, 2010). "Jews (and Mel) on the big screen, Winter sports roundup". Jweekly. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- Tracy, Marc (July 20, 2009). "Omri Casspi Is Ready For Primetime". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- "His sister: Omri Caspi not only aiming high". nrg (in Hebrew). May 8, 2009.
- "Omri Casspi". Euroleague.net. June 22, 1988. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- "Sacramento's new King of the court is from Israel". The Jewish Tribune. November 24, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- Zeldin, Ashley (June 21, 2011). "Omri Casspi brings basketball camp to valley". Jewish Journal. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- "Grizzlies: Wallace meets Israeli President". NBA.com. September 2, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- "Fans give little reaction to Thomas in Knicks' blowout". ESPN. Associated Press. October 11, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Sinai, Allon (June 18, 2008). "NBA & Local Hoops: Casspi withdraws from draft". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- "2009 NBA Draft". NBA. June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- Sagi, Yehoshua (October 28, 2009). "The first Israeli in the NBA / And now, the real journey for Kings' Casspi begins". Haaretz. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Mittleman, Jerry (June 26, 2009). "Omri Casspi becomes first Israeli picked in first round of NBA draft". Haaretz. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
- "Thunder get roaring, grab opener over Kings". NBA.com. October 28, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "Casspi Makes The Most Of Start". ESPN. December 21, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "Cavaliers Acquire Casspi and Future First Round Pick from Sacramento in Exchange For Hickson". Nba.com. October 29, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Rockets Sign Omri Casspi
- Opening day rosters: Who made the cut?
- Casspi and Mekel both shine in first-ever Israeli NBA face-off
- Historic meeting for Gal Mekel and Omri Casspi
- "Omri Casspi's Official Website". Casspi18.com. Retrieved May 30, 2010.