During his 14-year NBA career, Amar’e Stoudemire turned emphatic slam dunks into an art form, collecting 15,994 points along the way. Now, with his playing days officially behind him, the former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks star has turned his attention to collecting other things, like art.
In fact, his affinity for collecting art has become such a passion that his Miami home has literally become a shrine to it. Whereas most stars’ homes are shrines to NBA rings, Amar’e’s is one to inspirational things — an original Basquiat, a Retna, a Hebru Brantley.
His love of art began with a birthday gift. “It was a portrait of me… very elegant and it had the Tupac lyrics on the back of it, one of my favorite artists. At that moment, that’s when I knew that art was going to be a major part of my life,” reveals Stoudemire, one-half of one of the most punishing pick ‘n’ roll duos in NBA history.
Now, the six-time all-star who once dominated the paint is becoming an expert in how a love of art can change your perspective. That’s why he’s taking the opportunity to school underprivileged youths in positivity with his Foundation’s experiential art series called “In the Paint.” They regularly put on events for at-risk youths, exposing them to art, basketball and positive influences while raising money for students, high-school travel teams, basketball tournaments and projects abroad.
“The kids gain a lot. They gain experience. They gain hope. They get understanding on what’s important in life and they also have fun doing it,” Stoudemire says of his bold wish and pet project in a post-NBA world.
Amar’e, still scoring points…