Omri Casspi is first Israeli player to make the NBA

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports on Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player who will play in the NBA: He can run. We know that. He plays both forward positions. He is long and wiry, 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, and he must be as tough as his reputation suggests, because the second of the Kings’ two first-round draft choices (No. 23) is carrying an entire nation along for the ride. Forget the champagne and night-long celebration. Israeli President Shimon Peres called to offer congratulations. “I wouldn’t say I feel pressure, though,” said Casspi, 21, shortly after arriving with his mother, Ilana, from Tel Aviv. “Everybody is just trying to encourage me.” … Former Israeli stars such as Doron Sheffer, Oded Katash, Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin either failed to make rosters or signed deals overseas.