NBA MVP Joel Embiid wants to play for Team USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics instead of choosing France and his native Cameroon.
Embiid reportedly told USA Basketball general manager Grant Hill on Thursday that he chose Team USA.
“My son is an American,” Embiid said Thursday, three days after saying he planned to make a decision “in the next few days.” “I’ve been here for such a long time. I feel like every decision over the past few years has been mostly family-based.”
Embiid is Cameroonian but has never represented that country in a major international competition, making it easier to represent a national team outside of the country of his birth.
If Embiid plays for Cameroon, he may have to go through a lengthy process involving the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to change countries.
Last year, Embiid passed the process and became eligible to represent the United States and France in international basketball competitions.
But he can only choose one country to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Embiid, like many NBA superstars, did not participate in last summer’s World Cup and took more time to make a decision.
Ultimately, he chose the United States to provide support for a country that is relatively short of star centers compared to other positions.
Anthony Davis is the only American to be named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third Team as a center in the past six seasons, but he last played in a major international event in 2014.
“I don’t know yet,” Davis said Monday when asked about his interest in the 2024 Olympics.
Team USA is not expected to announce its roster of 12 Olympians until late next spring.
At the Tokyo Olympics, France handed the U.S. men their first Olympic loss since 2004. That was in the group stage. The United States then defeated France 87-82 in the final.
At this summer’s World Cup, the United States ranked fourth without any All-NBA players, while France ranked 18th.
France already has 7-foot Rudy Gobert, a three-time NBA All-Star, and Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick who is missing this year’s World Cup.
Cameroon’s men’s basketball team has never competed in the Olympics or World Cup, but did qualify for one of the last-chance global qualifiers next July Fourth.