(CNN) — Philadelphia 76ers star and reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid announced that he has committed to playing for USA Basketball at next year’s Paris Olympics.
Embiid, who was born in Cameroon and holds American and French citizenship, previously told reporters that it would be a “tough choice” to decide which of those three countries he would represent.
“I’m really proud and excited about this decision. It was not easy. I am blessed to call Cameroon, France, and the USA home,” Embiid said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.
“After talking to my family, I knew it had to be Team USA. I want to play with my brothers in the league. I want to play for my fans because they’ve been incredible since the day I came here.
“But most of all, I want to honor my son who was born in the US. I want my boy to know I played my first Olympics for him.”
Embiid reportedly joins NBA superstars LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, among others, who have expressed interest in playing for Team USA at next year’s Olympics.
When told about Embiid’s decision to commit to the US, two-time Olympic gold medalist James said: “Great. It’s big time.”
The 29-year-old center averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists last season for the Sixers. He is a six-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive team selection.
“It’s exciting for USA Basketball that Joel Embiid wants to represent the United States,” Grant Hill, the men’s national team director of USA Basketball, said on Thursday.
“Joel and I have had several conversations about his goals and I’m looking forward to continuing that dialogue knowing that one of those goals is to represent USA Basketball next summer in Paris.
“As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward to the process of building the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team roster over the next several months.”
Last month, the US was unexpectedly eliminated from the 2023 FIBA World Cup by Germany in the semifinals. The loss marked the second consecutive World Cup that the nation has failed to reach the championship game.
At the Olympics, Team USA has won gold on 16 occasions, including at the last four Games. Next year’s showpiece in Paris is scheduled to begin on July 26 and run through August 11.
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