Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid now a U.S. citizen, says it is a ‘blessing to be an American’

CHARLESTON, SC – Joel Embiid is an American citizen.

Cameroon-born Embiid said he was sworn in as a citizen in Philadelphia two weeks ago. The NBA leading scorer and Philadelphia 76ers all-star center said his family — Embiid and his Brazilian girlfriend Anne de Paula have a young son — played a crucial role in his decision.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Embiid told The Associated Press at training camp at The Citadel on Thursday. “My son is American. I felt like I lived here and it was a blessing to be an American. So I said why not?”

Embiid, who played college basketball in Kansas for one season, also has French citizenship. He said it’s far too early to think about which country he could possibly represent in international basketball.

Embiid, 28, had a career-best 30.6 points in 68 games last season. The 7-footer also averaged 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists, helping Philadelphia reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals for a second straight season. Embiid averaged 23.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in the postseason despite playing with hand and face injuries.

Embiid was announced as a Kansas player during pregame introductions at 76ers home games last season, but switched midseason when he was introduced from Cameroon. He might try to get a sip this season.

“We say Cameroon, American and French,” he said, laughing. Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid now a U.S. citizen, says it is a ‘blessing to be an American’

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