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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Proud to be an American: 76ers star, former Jayhawk Joel Embiid now a U.S. citizen

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Philadelphia.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Joel Embiid is an American citizen.

A native of Cameroon, Embiid said he was sworn in as a citizen two weeks ago in Philadelphia. The former KU Jayhawk, NBA scoring champion and Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center said his family — Embiid and his Brazilian girlfriend Anne de Paula have a young son — played a pivotal role in his decision.

"I've been here for a long time," Embiid told The Associated Press Thursday at training camp at The Citadel. "My son is American. I felt like, I'm living here and it's a blessing to be an American. So I said, why not?"

Embiid, who played college basketball for one season at Kansas, also has citizenship in France. He said it is way too early to think about which country he could potentially represent in international basketball.

The 28-year-old Embiid averaged a career-best 30.6 points in 68 games last season. The 7-footer also averaged 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in helping Philadelphia reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.

Embiid averaged 23.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in the postseason despite playing with hand and facial injuries.

Embiid had been announced as playing out of Kansas during pregame introductions at 76ers' home games but switched around midseason last year as being introduced from Cameroon. He might try for a mouthful this season.

"We're going to say Cameroon, American and French," he said, laughing.

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 months, 1 week ago

Never been a fan. Faking the back injury to protect draft status. No championships. Tons of talk. No hardware. Not as stupid as Kyrie Irving or Wiggins, so I guess that's a plus? Hundreds of thousands of people deserve citizenship in this country far more than him. But, hey, they can't dunk.

Sae Thirtysix 2 months ago

Someone here is (without a doubt) the most condescending narcissistically immature human in existence today. Amazing how they can opine as a barometer or determination vehicle of citizenship. Needs to go back down into Mothers basement and watch videos of forced removal of migrants off The Vineyard.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

Always appreciated Joel. Amazing to see his growth from being nothing special early in HS, to really good, and then to a whole different level through his year at KU. Stinks that he got hurt at the end of the season both because of the impact on a really good but young team, but also because of long impact it ended up being on the beginning of his pro career. Wasn’t it something like 2 years of being sidelined? Crazy perseverance.

Haven’t there also been stories about him going back to Cameron to help where he came from? It’s good to have and keep that perspective.

Clarence Haynes 2 months, 1 week ago

News to many that Joel “faked” a back injury. Had he not been plagued with injuries, Kansas would’ve been able to defeat Stanford and move further into the Tournament that year. His NBA championship woes were exacerbated by an incredible shot by then Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard! I can’t question his qualification to become a U.S. citizen, but I understand that Joel has demonstrated his support of various civic causes in Philadelphia.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

I wonder what percentage of HOF players have championships? Guessing it is high, though there are definitely great ones that never got a ring.

Bill Kiekel 2 months ago

Proud of you, Joel for working to get your Citizenship, and proud to follow your NBA career. IGNORE the HATERS.THEY are proven LOSERS.

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