Israel’s average national height rose ever so slightly on Wednesday when former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire officially received Israeli citizenship in a ceremony at the Interior Ministry.

The 6-foot-10-inch American-born basketball star’s identity card was presented to him by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion at a ceremony attended by Hapoel Jerusalem co-owner Eyal Chomsky and Hapoel Jerusalem general manager Guy Harel.

“In a moving ceremony today, I granted Israeli citizenship to Hapoel Jerusalem player Amar’e Stoudemire, or Jehoshaphat, to use his Hebrew name,” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Twitter, calling him “a tremendous basketball player, a wonderful man, and a great ambassador of Israel and our capital Jerusalem, who has tied his fate to that of Israel’s.”

Last year, the former NBA star even heralded a new line of kosher-for-Passover wines, grown and produced in Israel, which includes two red-wine blends and one Cabernet Sauvignon, all limited-edition vintages produced in cooperation with the Tulip Winery in northern Israel.