Proud to be American: 76ers star, former Jayhawk Joel Embiid is now an American citizen

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CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — Joel Embiid is an American citizen.

Originally from Cameroon, Embiid said he was sworn in as a citizen two weeks ago in Philadelphia. Former KU Jayhawk, NBA champion and Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center, said his family — Embiid and his Brazilian girlfriend Anne de Paula have a young son — played a pivotal role in his decision.

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

Embiid, who played college basketball for a season at Kansas, also has French citizenship. He said it was far too early to think about which country he could potentially represent in international basketball.

Embiid, 28, averaged 30.6 career points in 68 games last season. The 7-footer also averaged 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists to help Philadelphia reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second straight year.

Embiid averaged 23.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in the playoffs despite hand and face injuries.

Embiid had been announced as playing out of Kansas during pre-game introductions at 76ers home games, but switched mid-season last year as being introduced from Cameroon. He could try a bite this season.

“We’re going to say Cameroonian, American and French,” he laughs.

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