Brooklyn Nets forward Andray Blatche is moving towards getting his citizenship with the Philippines and will represent the country at the upcoming FIBA World Cup event in September. And even better, he’s not the first NBA player approached by the Philippines to play.
According to The Philippine Star, Blatche has until May 30 to submit his passport in order to be eligible for the tournament in September. Chot Reyes, head coach of the country’s basketball team, is very excited about the prospects of adding Blatche to the team:
Reyes said Blatche’s choice of playing for the Philippines is unprecedented. “It’s not every day you get a legitimate NBA player to renounce his eligibility to play for any country except the Philippines in FIBA,” an SBP official said. “Andray isn’t in between leagues. He just finished playing for the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs. Yet he’s committed to play for the Philippines and he’s excited to do it.”
The most fascinating part of this story is the Philippines government also explored the possibility of naturalizing JaVale McGee as a citizen recently. The process is still ongoing with McGee, but the country has made strides with Blatche, and we can only imagine the havoc, hilarity and hustle these two former Washington Wizards would bring if they were reunited on a foreign national team.
It is also worth noting when the Nets played the Raptors in Toronto in the first round, Blatche misplaced his passport:
Andray Blatche lost his passport. So he has to get a new one.
— Andrew Keh (@andrewkeh) May 15, 2014
(H/T The Brooklyn Game)
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