When the Kings selected Omri Casspi with the 23rd pick in the ’08-09 NBA draft,Â Casspi became the first Israeli born player to make it to the NBA — and maybe the first sniperÂ too.
â€œHe was a sniper in the Israeli army, so how much pressure can be on him now?â€ said Scotty Sterling, the Kingsâ€™ scouting director. â€œHe wasnâ€™t in combat, but he said they taught him to shoot a rifle. But he said heâ€™d rather shoot a basketball than a rifle.â€
Casspi quickly corrects the record, saying he wasnâ€™t a sniper. Still, the story has been making the rounds.â€œI donâ€™t know where that rumor started,â€ Casspi said. â€œI wasnâ€™t a sniper. Itâ€™s not true. I was in basic training. But I did hold a gun, and I shot a lot.â€
Sacramento selected CasspiÂ becauseÂ ofÂ his athleticism and smarts he displayedÂ for the World Select Team at the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit. But I’m thinking the sniperÂ rumorÂ totally put him over the top for the Kings.
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