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Kyle Anderson to Represent China in FIBA World Cup as Naturalized Player



Kyle Anderson to Represent China in FIBA World Cup as Naturalized Player

(CTN News) – US-born basketball player Kyle Anderson, Li Kaier in China, will proudly represent Team China in the upcoming FIBA World Cup after obtaining Chinese nationality through his maternal great-grandfather.

The 29-year-old Minnesota Timberwolves forward’s addition to the national team roster marks a significant milestone for Chinese basketball and has been met with excitement.

However, questions linger regarding the citizenship status of naturalized athletes, as China does not recognize dual nationality. Let’s delve deeper into the significance of this decision and the backdrop of other naturalized Chinese athletes.

Kyle Anderson’s Naturalization and China’s First Basketball Coup:

Kyle Anderson’s remarkable journey to Chinese citizenship was confirmed by the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) on Monday. His eligibility for Chinese nationality through his maternal great-grandfather allowed him to become China’s first naturalized basketball player, creating a buzz of enthusiasm among fans and sports enthusiasts.

Although Kyle Anderson’s naturalization is a momentous occasion, it remains unclear whether the 6-foot-9 (2.06 meters) forward had to renounce his US passport. China’s policy does not recognize dual nationality, posing a dilemma for athletes who seek to represent the country while maintaining ties to their country of birth.

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The case of US-born freestyle ski sensation Eileen Gu, who won medals for China at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, sheds light on the complexities surrounding dual nationality.

Gu’s decision to switch from Team USA to China in 2019 was met with mixed reactions, and she has never explicitly addressed whether she renounced her US citizenship. The issue of dual nationality remains a sensitive and controversial topic in the realm of naturalized athletes.

Through naturalization, China has welcomed several elite athletes, both with and without Chinese roots. Canada-born heptathlete Nina Schultz, also known as Zheng Ninali, became China’s first naturalized Olympic athlete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The Beijing 2022 men’s ice hockey team’s roster included only six homegrown players, with several naturalized stars from overseas playing in the Chinese Super League.

The Excitement for FIBA World Cup 2023:

With the 2023 FIBA World Cup set to commence on August 25, jointly hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, China’s national team is eager to make their mark. China will face Serbia in their opening game on August 26, and Kyle Anderson’s inclusion in the roster adds a new dimension to their lineup.


Kyle Anderson’s representation of China in the FIBA World Cup as the country’s first naturalized basketball player marks a significant milestone in Chinese sports history.

As the games draw near, the excitement surrounding Team China is palpable, with fans eager to witness their national team’s performance on the international stage. However, the issue of dual nationality among star athletes continues to be debated, with the sporting world keeping a close eye on how it unfolds.

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