Alysha Clark has kept busy during the month-long break from the WNBA season, including a visit to the place she calls her second home.
Along with many other pro athletes and celebrities, Clark went on the second annual trip to Israel put on by the Omri Casspi Foundation. Casspi, an NBA player from Israel, invites his peers to spend a week in his native country and make a difference in the community. Early in August, the group toured a few different cities in Israel, including Jerusalem.
Casspi brought fellow NBA players with him for the second straight summer, but this year’s group featured athletes from a variety of sports and other celebrities such as actor Jeremy Piven. Representing the WNBA were Clark and Phoenix forward Mistie Bass.
“It was basically to bring people to Israel and show that the country is more than what you see on the news, show the beauty of the country and the culture,” said Clark, who has played in Israel every offseason of her career and has duel citizenship. “It was really cool to be a part of that, to be able to show other people why I love Israel and help share that message along with Omri.”
While in Israel, the NBA and WNBA players put on clinics for hundreds of young boys and girls and spent time with local youth basketball players. They also helped restore a couple of outdoor basketball courts.
One of the camps Clark attended, run by former NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire, was focused on bringing together youth from a variety of cultures.
“He had kids of four different ethnicities and religions coming together to play basketball, and nothing else mattered. Just to see their parents in the stands as well, interacting with each other, that touched me the most,” Clark said. “With all this stuff that’s going on in the world, all everybody wants is peace. They just want peace in their country.”
Clark also does a ton of local charity work with Seattle Children’s and the Storm Foundation when she’s in town. She and her teammates are now back in Seattle preparing for the rest of the WNBA season, which begins Friday when the Storm hosts Los Angeles.