On December 7, CloseUp360 kicked off the 21st Edition of artbasel during Art Week Miami with an exclusive collaboration with Playerstv, shedding light on the remarkable transformation of NBA legend Amar’e Stoudemire with the launch of his new podcast, ‘STATosphere.’ This significant transition from a celebrated basketball player to an art collector and wine brand owner illustrates his evolving interests and pursuits. His dedication to sustainable farming practices and active role in philanthropy highlight his commitment to environmental stewardship and community support.

 As one of the pioneering African-American kosher winemakers, Stoudemire has notably influenced the wine industry, establishing a precedent for future generations. His involvement with The Melech Collection, aimed at fostering emerging artists, showcases his strong commitment to nurturing the arts. This endeavor, expanding his impact beyond the realms of sports and business, found an appropriate setting at one of the world’s most renowned cultural and artistic events, serving as the perfect backdrop to display Stoudemire’s dynamic journey.

The special live recording of the ‘STATosphere’ podcast, themed ‘Players Canvas’ and hosted by Stoudemire himself, was a standout element of this collaboration. Held at Chotto Matte, known for its exceptional Nikkei cuisine, the event featured a series of engaging panel discussions. Bringing together a diverse mix of personalities, including Rohan Marley, CEO of Lion Order; Evan Turner, founder of New Amendment; Jojo Anavim from Jojo Anavim Studios; Deron Guidrey of Players TV; Bradley Theodore, a prominent visual artist; Wale Ogunleye, head of sports and entertainment at UBS; Brandon Marshall, the former American football wide receiver; and SAINt JHN, a celebrated musician; and Gardy St. Fleur, art collector and Amar’e’s art advisor, the panels delved into topics spanning art, business, entrepreneurship, and sports. The discussions not only highlighted their successes but also addressed the challenges they faced, creating a rich mosaic of experiences. Throughout these discussions, casual sips of wine complemented the dialogue, cultivating an atmosphere of camaraderie and inspiration, leaving participants and guests feeling uplifted and connected.

As the panel discussions continued, guests enjoyed a wine tasting from Stoudemire’s collection, including Journey Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. Each bottle provided insight into his unique approach to winemaking. Accompanying this wine tasting experience, an assortment of refined gourmet hors d’oeuvres was presented.

As the lively dialogue at the session reached its final notes, attention shifted to artist Abriella Sammy, who had been painting a portrait of Amar’e Stoudemire throughout the event. Her canvas was a heartfelt tribute, blending the jerseys from each team Stoudemire had played for with the distinctiveness of his Orthodox Jewish attire, symbolizing his transition from a celebrated athlete to embracing his faith. This unveiling, marked by a moment of thoughtful reflection and appreciation, not only highlighted Stoudemire’s professional achievements but also his profound personal transformation. The artwork stood as a poignant tribute to a man who has masterfully combined his athletic legacy with his spiritual and cultural identity, offering guests an intimate and insightful glimpse into his life’s metamorphosis.

 “This artwork reflects my transition from the court to new horizons,” remarked Amar’e Stoudemire.

Later that evening, Chotto Matte hosted an exclusive dinner in honor of Amar’e Stoudemire. This occasion was attended by his close friends, special guests, and the dedicated content team from both PlayersTV and CloseUp360, including Erika Sykes, Director of Talent and Brand Strategy at PlayersTV; Kendall Shell, Head of Strategy and Partnership at PlayersTV; and CloseUp360 Founder and CEO Jared Zwerling. Highlighting Chef Jordan Sclare’s gourmet expertise, the dinner featured a variety of delectable dishes, including a range of kosher dishes to meet diverse dietary needs. Complemented by a selection of Stoudemire’s finest wines and the restaurant’s signature cocktails, the evening concluded delightfully, with everyone keenly anticipating the upcoming STATosphere podcast and the stories and insights Stoudemire is set to share. It was an evening that celebrated diversity, creativity, and the inspiring journey of an NBA legend turned cultural icon.

Photo Gallery

To explore Amar’e Stoudemire’s wine collection, you can visit the following link: ww.stoudemirewines.com

About CloseUp360

CloseUp360 (CU360) is an Emmy-nominated media platform and production company focused on NBA players, star athletes and sports insiders, and their impact beyond the game.

The arena beyond the game of basketball has become a league of its own. NBA players have never been more active and diverse outside of the sport—from entrepreneurial endeavors and philanthropic efforts to global initiatives and social activism, and much more. They are also among the world’s most popular celebrities, most captivating young stars and most marketable athletes.

Taking a 360-degree view of all things off the court, CloseUp360 offers an immersive look inside players’ lives. Topics include players’ journeys, personal branding, career development, hometown impact, international growth, lifestyle interests, family connections and more.

CloseUp360 was founded by Jared Zwerling, a sports media and marketing veteran whose career has spanned the NBA, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, the NBPA and Sports Illustrated. Throughout his career, Jared developed a niche in off-the-court coverage, which inspired him to build CU360 with a select team of longtime industry friends who had similar content and business experience in this specialized arena Video: YouTube.com/CU360 Social: @CloseUp360

About PlayersTV

PlayersTV is the first ever athlete owned media network and content provider dedicated to showcasing sports lifestyle and entertainment. Its mission is to provide sports fans with unprecedented access into the interesting lives of professional athletes, both in and outside of their sport. PTV has become the home and centralized destination for the best curated and originally produced sports content. With over one hundred athlete creators, investors, and partners, PlayersTV is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. We offer a robust variety of content including comedy, reality shows, documentaries, podcasts, movies, and more all featuring your favorite sports stars.