Joel Embiid will be part of USA’s superteam for the 2024 Olympics, after deciding to commit to the national team instead of France or Cameroon.
The big man was born in Cameroon and holds French and American citizenship.
The French team put him on the clock late last month about his decision, which wasn’t an easy one.
“I love all three options, you know, with my home country, which I love a lot,” Embiid said. “But I really want to participate in the Olympics, that’s been my goal and my dream. And you add that with the fact that my son is American, and I’ve been here for such a long time. … I’m really thankful for the opportunity. France — the commitment they were willing to make — I really appreciate it. It was a tough decision.”
ESPN insider Ramona Shelburne says the main reason that Embiid went with Team USA was “because he wants to help the U.S. return to the top of the international basketball world after it failed to medal at the FIBA World Cup in the Philippines this summer.”
Two things the US team struggled with at FIBA level was size and defense and Embiid certainly can help with those two weaknesses.
The reigning MVP also explained how he was inspired by the opportunity to win a medal in front of his three-year-old son, who was born in America.
“I feel like for the past few years, since [Arthur] has been born, every decision has been made just based on family,” he said. “My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like USA.”
I’m really proud and excited about this decision. It was not easy. I am blessed to call Cameroon, France, and the USA home. 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… pic.twitter.com/6VHSQTKVl3
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) October 5, 2023
France were hoping that Embiid would opt to join them after a disappointing Round 1 exit in the FIBA World Cup.
France will be hosting the 2024 Olympics in Paris and will boast rising star Victor Wembanyama and big man Rudy Gobert.
Embiid going up against Wemby and Gobert will be worth the price of admission.
LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, and a host of other stars are expected to play for Team USA.