Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has accomplished a great deal during his six seasons in the NBA. Now he’s adding another accolade to his resume: becoming a United States citizen.
On Thursday, Embiid told The Associated Press that he received his American citizenship two weeks ago.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” Embiid said. “My son is American. I felt like, I’m living here and it’s a blessing to be an American. So I said, why not?”
Embiid was originally born in Cameroon and moved to the United States at age 16 in order to pursue his dreams of being a professional basketball player. The 7’0 center initially attended Monteverde Academy, but transferred after his first year due to a lack of playing time. Embiid then attended The Rock School, which is a Christian Academy in Gainesville, Fla.
The Cameroon native ended up developing into a five-star recruit and took his talents to the University of Kansas. Embiid played one season with the Jayhawks before being selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Sixers.
Fast forward eight years later and Embiid has become one of the top players in the NBA
Embiid is coming off a season in which he averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 37.1 percent from three. The Sixers star big man was finished as the runner-up to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the MVP voting in each of the past two seasons.