Stoudemire expresses support for troubled half-brother

Updated: July 17, 2007, 9:24 PM ET
Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Amare Stoudemire's anticipation of competing for Team USA this summer has been tinged by concern over the arrest of his half brother on charges that include suspicion of murder.

Amare Stoudemire

Stoudemire

"It's a little disappointing," Stoudemire said Monday. "All I can do is put my prayers out there and hope everything works out for the best."

Marwan Williams, 18, was one of five people arrested July 4 in what police believe was a drug heist that went bad at a Scottsdale resort. Ian Stenhouse, 27, was shot to death.

It was the latest in a string of family troubles that have followed Stoudemire most of his life.

His mother, Carrie Mae Stoudemire, is serving a three-year prison sentence after a series of drunken driving arrests. She has been in and out of jail throughout Stoudemire's life. An older brother, Hazell Stoudemire Jr., was sent to federal prison for drug and other charges before Amare came to the NBA directly out of high school in 2002.

Through it all, Amare Stoudemire stayed out of trouble, serving as the rock of his family.

"No doubt about it, as a basketball player and as Amare Stoudemire the family man," he said. "It works on both ends. God gave me broad shoulders so I can carry the load."

As he did with his mother, Stoudemire is backing his younger brother, although he said the two have not spoken since the arrest.

Stoudemire said Williams was "sorta, kinda" under his wing when he came to the Suns.

"It's very hard," Stoudemire said, "but like I said, all I can do is say my prayers at night and have family and friends show their support. I'm definitely going to support him and make sure he's OK."

He spoke after taking part in the opening ceremony for the Copa PanAmerica soccer tournament at University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.

Stoudemire leaves Thursday for Las Vegas to begin workouts with Team USA. It's far different than a year ago, when he went to the team's practices as part of his comeback from major knee surgery.

"I was really going there for the rehabilitation process, but this year I'm definitely going there to compete and show them we're the best."

Stoudemire came back from microfracture surgery on one knee and an arthroscopic cleanup of his other knee to earn first-team all-NBA honors. Still, in the days leading up to this year's draft, there were rumors he would be part of a blockbuster trade that would bring Kevin Garnett to the Suns.

He said he was assured by the Suns that he wasn't going to be traded.

"They all called me, [general manager] Steve Kerr, Mike D'Antoni from the coaching staff and certain players," Stoudemire said. "They told me it was all rumors. There was no thought of me going anywhere, so I'm back at it again and next season going for a championship."

He welcomed the acquisition of Grant Hill, who is expected to start alongside Stoudemire.

"I watched him play when I was living in Orlando in high school," Stoudemire said. "I know what he's capable of as a player, and he's a great veteran leader as well."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press