Joel Embiid, who is one of the best players on the planet, still does not have the slightest international selection. But this situation is likely to change soon.
Apart from his Cameroonian nationality by birth, the 28-year-old pivot is also a naturalized American. A logical choice according to the interested party living in the United States for more than a decade. It was in the country of Uncle Sam, far from his native Yaoundé, that Embiid met high-level basketball after having caught the eye of recruiters during a tournament to detect talents in Cameroon in 2011.
“I’ve been here a long time. My son is American. It felt like I lived here. So I said why not?”he said in late September in an interview with the American news agency AP about his American citizenship.
The NBA’s top scorer in the past season, and also the first non-American in history to achieve such a performance, could therefore soon be on the court with Team USA, the national basketball team of the United States. -United.
But this choice has not yet been made. Since the star of the Sixers also enjoys French citizenship. After having expressed for several years his
desire to be French, he finally obtained French nationality in early July 2022.
The Philadelphia Sixers star has yet to announce his choice between the United States and France, preferring to work on getting back to good physical shape after his injury at the end of last season. That said, the time for choice cannot be long due to the international deadlines looming on the horizon. First the Basketball World Cup in 2023 and then the Paris Olympics a year later.
“I think he should play for us”, Blues coach Vincent Collet told the press recently. A call from the foot similar to that already launched by several players of the France team in recent months.
In any case, the prospect of seeing Joel Embiid evolve in another jersey than that of the Lions does not delight everyone in Cameroon. Several Internet users had vehemently expressed their dissatisfaction at the time of the announcement of his naturalization as French. As for the national coach Sacha Giffa, he mentioned an act “sad for the African continent”.