Rockets forward Casspi invited to The White House - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Rockets forward Casspi invited to The White House

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Houston Rockets forward Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, has been invited to the White House next Thursday to take part in the lighting of the candles for Hanukkah.

Casspi told FOX 26 Sports he received the invitation Tuesday night to take part in the ceremony for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights,

"It is an unbelievable recognition," Casspi said. "It's all over the news in Israel and I'm so excited.
"It's a dream come true to be invited to the White House. Hopefully, we get invited as a team after we win the championship."

The invitation to the White House comes in between home games for the Rockets against Phoenix and Golden State.

Casspi was Initially concerned about being able to make it work within the Rockets schedule.

However, head coach Kevin McHale quickly gave him his blessing to go.

"Yea, I told him if he'd like to go, of course," McHale said. "It's quite an honor to go the White House anytime you get the chance to go there.

"I said 'it's all up to you. If you want to go, try to make it work and enjoy it. If you don't want to go, write very nice letter telling them you can't.' I'll guess it'll be up to him."

That decision was made quickly.

Clearly, Casspi is overwhelmed at the opportunity to represent Israel at the White House.

"To meet the President of the United States, to represent my country, it's just unbelievable," Casspi said.

And the Rockets forward said he has a few thoughts he hopes to be able to share with President Obama.

"A lot of things," Casspi said. "First I'm a big fan. It's a great honor for me to be there. Then we'll talk some politics too."

Casspi said jokingly he will touch on some serious stuff.

"We'll talk about our agreement with Iran and Israel and our relationship and everything like that," Casspi said smiling and laughing."

And of course he will talk basketball with America's number one fan.

"Unbelievable," which Casspi said many times during the interview.

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