Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kyle Anderson will be playing for China in the approaching FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) late this month officially announced Anderson’s addition to the roster.
“With the promotion and support of all parties, Li Kai’er obtained Chinese nationality this morning,” the CBA declared on their Weibo social media account.
Anderson will now be going by his Chinese name, as mentioned in the announcement.
The NBA reports that Anderson’s great-grandfather was Chinese, which allows him to play for China as a naturalized citizen.
The 29-year-old athlete has become the first-ever basketball player to acquire Chinese nationality through naturalization, according to ESPN.
“I’m so happy to announce that I will be representing China at the World Cup,” Anderson said in a video posted to his Weibo account.
He expressed that he feels “really proud and honored to wear the Team China jersey.”
Reuters reported that the China team had originally named 18 players in its training camp last month, but is looking to make some changes. Anderson is expected to join as the team’s single naturalized player allowed by FIBA.
At the moment, it is unknown whether Anderson has renounced his American passport due to the strict rule in China which does not recognize dual nationality.
The FIBA World Cup will begin on August 25 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
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