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NBA's Kyle Anderson becomes Chinese citizen

By Sun Xiaochen | | Updated: 2023-07-24 13:29
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It's official! American-born forward Kyle Anderson has completed a naturalization procedure and has acquired Chinese citizenship to be eligible to play for his mother's home country on the international stage.

The Chinese Basketball Association confirmed the much-anticipated news on its official Weibo account on Monday morning, about 24 hours after Anderson, now known as "Li Kaier" in China, landed in Shanghai to finalize the naturalization process.

"With the efforts and supports from all parties involved, Li Kaier has obtained his Chinese citizenship and has met president Yao Ming," the CBA said in the statement.

"We appreciate all the help and support, especially those from Li Kaier's family. Thanks for the attention from fans and media."

Born in New Jersey and drafted as a first-round pick by the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, Anderson averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 69 games in the 2022-23 season for Minnesota Timberwolves as a playmaking forward in his ninth NBA season.

In 2018, Anderson and his mother Suzanne visited Xinmu new village in southern metropolis Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to seek out his mother's family roots. Their long-lost Chinese relatives welcomed them with a firecracker show, traditional cultural experiences and a huge banquet.

According to Chinese media report, Anderson is expected to fly to Europe to join Team China coached by Serbian tactician Aleksandar Djordjevic. Team China is preparing for its FIBA World Cup campaign playing warm-up games against European teams, such as Croatia and Slovenia.

Anderson is expected to make his Chinese national debut at a warm-up tournament for the World Cup, the "International Solidarity Cup" in August in Shenzhen, the home city of his mother's Chinese family.

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