Earlier this month, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid officially became an American citizen. The Cameroon native said his family contributed significantly to this decision.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” Embiid told The Associated Press Thursday. “My son is American. I felt like, I’m living here. ... So I said, why not?”
Back in July, Embiid also gained French citizenship. He now has eligibility to suit up for the Cameroonian, French or United States national team. The latter two met in the 2021 Olympic final, with the United States emerging victorious, 87-82.
Midway the 2021-22 season, Embiid switched his pre-game introduction. Long announced as from Kansas University, he changed to hailing from Cameroon. Across 68 games, the superstar center averaged a league-best 30.6 points (61.6 percent true shooting), 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 blocks last year.
He and the Sixers tip off their 2022-23 preseason slate Oct. 3 against the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 p.m. EST. Their regular season begins Oct. 18 inside TD Garden for a duel with the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. EST.