Chinese basketball player Kyle Anderson set to represent China at FIBA World Cup

American basketball player and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson announced on Monday that he will be representing China at the FIBA World Cup.

This news comes after the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) revealed that Anderson has obtained Chinese citizenship through naturalization.

As the first basketball player to do so, the 29-year-old forward from New York joins the ranks of elite athletes who have gained Chinese nationality through naturalization.

FIBA allows teams to have one naturalized player on their roster.

The CBA stated, “Anderson obtained Chinese nationality this morning and met with Yao Ming, chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association,” on its official Weibo account.

The governing body even shared a photo of Anderson alongside former NBA star Yao Ming, both looking delighted.

In a video posted to his Weibo account, Anderson expressed his joy, saying, “I’m so happy to announce that I will be representing China at the World Cup. I’m really proud and honored to wear the team China jersey.”

It is currently unclear whether Anderson has renounced his original nationality, as China typically does not permit dual citizenship for its citizens.

Anderson’s new citizenship could also enable him to represent China at the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

Chinese media reports suggest that Anderson’s maternal grandmother was born in Jamaica to a Chinese father and Jamaican mother.

In recent years, China has naturalized several foreign-born athletes in an effort to strengthen its national teams, including Brazilian football players who moved to China with the hopes of playing international football.

In 2019, former Arsenal and Brentford midfielder Nico Yennaris, who was born in England, became the first overseas-born player to be called up for China’s national football team.

(With inputs from agencies)