Welcome to the American family, Joel Embiid.
The Philadelphia 76ers center told the Associated Press yesterday that he was sworn in as an American citizen two weeks ago. Embiid had dual citizenship in his native Cameroon as well as France, but made the choice to forgo those to become an American.
Embiid also said that his Brazilian girlfriend, Anne de Paula, and their two-year-old son played a pivotal role in his decision.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” Embiid said on 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?”
It’s refreshing to hear that from a superstar in a league that does all it can to convince viewers that the U.S. is a terrible nation.
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Embiid is an All-Star who consistently causes nightmare scenarios for opponents with his world-class two-way play. Last season, he averaged 30.6 points and 11.7 rebounds, and became the first international-born player to lead the league in scoring.
Now that Embiid is officially American, speculation has arisen as to what international team he would represent (if he chooses to don the stars and stripes, the rest of the world is in trouble). But when reporters asked him the question, he deflected and said his focus is first on success within the NBA.
"I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there," he said.