Omri Casspi: first victory in the NBA

By Simon Griver, November 5, 2009
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Holding court: Omri Casspi came off the bench to score 15 points in 30 minutes for the Sacramento Kings

Holding court: Omri Casspi came off the bench to score 15 points in 30 minutes for the Sacramento Kings

Omri Casspi tasted victory for the first time in the NBA earlier this week as the Sacramento Kings beat Memphis Grizzlies 127-116 in extra time.

The rookie forward scored 15 points and was also complimented by Kings coach Paul Westphal for his strong defensive play.

The former Maccabi Tel Aviv player was not in the starting five but spent 30 minutes on the court and scored crucial points.

Last week Casspi, 21, became the first Israeli to play in the NBA, also scoring 15 points on the opening day of the season in the 102-89 defeat to Oklahoma.

The 6ft 8in Israeli signed for the Kings as the 23rd in the NBA draft during the summer. He was called up in the first round and signed a three-year deal worth $3.5m.

Speaking after the victory over Memphis, Casspi said: “This is only the start. I have to take each step as it comes. I hope to play like this in every game. Maybe I won’t get so much playing time in every game but I’m there for the coach when he needs me.”

Casspi was watched on Tuesday by his father, Shimon, who had travelled from Israel for the match. “This was the first time my father had seen me play in the NBA,” he said. “I kept looking up at him during the game and saw that he was smiling. I’m living my dream and, of course, my father’s dream.”

    Last updated: 4:41pm, November 5 2009