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Kyle Anderson to play for China at FIBA World Cup

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Kyle Anderson to play for China - FIBA World Cup
American born Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is set to play for China in the FIBA World Cup. | PHOTO: FOX NEWS |
  • Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson will represent China at the FIBA World Cup
  • Kyle Anderson has obtained Chinese citizenship through naturalization ahead of FIBA World Cup
  • FIBA allows one naturalized player per team, and Anderson’s citizenship might also enable him to compete for China 

Minnesota Timberwolves small forward, Kyle Anderson, revealed on Monday that he will be representing China at the upcoming FIBA World Cup. This comes after the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) announced that Anderson has acquired Chinese citizenship through naturalization. The 29-year-old New York native is now among the elite athletes who have gained Chinese nationality in this manner, and he is the first basketball player to do so.

The CBA made an official statement on its Weibo account, confirming Anderson’s new citizenship status, which was obtained earlier that day. It was also mentioned that he had the opportunity to meet Yao Ming, the chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association. Soon after this announcement, Anderson himself confirmed his decision to play for China at the FIBA World Cup, which will kick off on August 25 and be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is set to play for China in 2023 FIBA World Cup

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is set to play for China in the 2023 FIBA World Cup after obtaining citizenship through naturalization. | PHOTO: AP News |

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In a video shared on his Weibo account, Kyle Anderson expressed his joy and pride in representing China in the prestigious basketball tournament. He expressed his excitement at wearing the Team China jersey and being part of the national team.

It’s worth noting that obtaining Chinese citizenship through naturalization could open up possibilities for Anderson to compete for China at the Olympic Games in Paris the following year. FIBA’s regulations permit teams to have one naturalized player on their roster. Reports in Chinese media suggest that Anderson’s maternal grandmother was born in Jamaica to a Chinese father and Jamaican mother, which might have played a role in the naturalization process.

Prior to this announcement, China had already unveiled an 18-man squad for the FIBA World Cup. However, FIBA has clarified that the final rosters will only be confirmed after a technical meeting scheduled to take place before the start of the tournament.

This naturalization trend is not unique to basketball; other athletes have also been granted Chinese citizenship in different sports. Notably, several Brazilians have moved to China with the intention of playing international football. In 2019, Nico Yennaris, a former Arsenal and Brentford midfielder born in England, became the first overseas-born player to be called up for China’s national soccer team. During that time, the Chinese Super League was known for attracting foreign soccer players seeking lucrative contracts.

As for Anderson and the others who have undergone naturalization, it remains uncertain if they have renounced their original nationality, as China typically enforces strict rules regarding dual citizenship for its citizens.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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