Philadelphia 76ers star and reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid has announced that he has committed to representing the United States men’s basketball team at next year’s Paris Olympics.
Embiid, who was born in Cameroon and holds American and French citizenship, previously told reporters that deciding which of the three countries to represent would be a “tough choice.”
“I’m very proud and excited about this decision. It wasn’t easy. I’m lucky to call Cameroon, France and the United States home,” Embiid posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday.
“After talking to my family, I knew it had to be Team USA. I wanted to play in the league with my brothers. I wanted to play for my fans because they’ve been performing since the day I got here. Unbelievable.
“But most of all, I want to honor my American-born son. I want my kids to know that I went to my first Olympics for him.”
Embiid joins NBA superstars such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant in reportedly expressing interest in representing Team USA at next year’s Olympics.
When he learned that Embiid had decided to join Team USA, two-time Olympic gold medalist James explain: “Great. This is a big moment.”
The 29-year-old center averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the 76ers last season. He was selected to the All-Star team six times and to the All-Defensive team three times.
“It’s exciting for USA Basketball that Joel Embiid wants to represent Team USA,” USA Basketball men’s national team director Grant Hill said Thursday.
“Joel and I have had several conversations about his goals and I look forward to continuing those conversations because I know one of those goals is to play for USA Basketball in Paris next summer.
“As I have stated previously, I look forward to the process of establishing the 2024 USA Basketball National Team roster in the coming months.”
Last month, the United States was unexpectedly eliminated by Germany in the semi-finals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The defeat marked the country’s second consecutive failure to qualify for the World Cup.
At the Olympics, Team USA has won gold medals 16 times, including the last four Olympics. Next year’s exhibition in Paris is scheduled to begin on July 26 and run until August 11.