Joel Embiid chooses to play for Team USA over Cameeron and France for the 2024 Olympics | Here’s why

why did Joel Embiid choose Team USA over Cameroon and France for the 2024 Olympics

Can Team USA get even better?  The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, Joel Embiid, had just finalized his decision on which country he would be representing in the 2024 Paris Olympics. To no one’s surprise, the Philadelphia 76ers star chose the United States instead of Cameroon, his home country, and France, where he also happens to be a citizen. But, why did Joel Embiid choose to play for Team USA in the Olympics?

The 6-time NBA All-Star posted on X about his much-awaited decision. Lately, his name has been in the middle of National team discussions after being seen as eligible to represent either the U.S.A., France, or Cameroon. His post says:

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 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.”

Why did Joel Embiid choose to play for Team USA rather than France and Cameroon?

Joel Embiid, 29, was born and raised in Cameroon. About 14 years ago, a young Embiid was discovered in a camp held by former NBA player Luc Mbah a Moute. Mbah a Moute saw the kid’s potential and mentored Embiid. At the age of 16, he was able to move to the United States and polish his talents even more. The rest is history. Although Joel Embiid is purely a Cameroonian, he also happens to hold American and French citizenships

The NBA superstar has been in talks of representing Cameroon in international tournaments since being drafted in 2014. However, this never came into reality. Going back to the question of why Embiid chose Team USA instead of Cameroon and France, here are the possible answers:

  • Cameroon did not qualify for the 2024 Olympics which makes it literally impossible for Joel Embiid to represent his country. This nation does have another chance in the second Olympic qualifying tournaments next year, but it already seems difficult without Embiid. However, some may wonder – would Cameroon have a greater chance to book a ticket to the Olympics had Embiid played during the African qualifiers? Sadly, we’ll never know.

  • He did say in his post he wants to play for the country where his son was born, which is the United States. But, what’s intriguing here is that Embiid mentioned playing with his “brothers in the league”. Obviously, he’s already talking about potentially playing in a Team USA featuring All-time greats like LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant. Take note that these players have verbally committed to Team USA in the 2024 Olympics.
  • Moreover, JoJo has been constantly recruited by the managing director of the U.S. men’s national basketball team, Grant Hill. Well, Hill successfully lured Paolo Banchero away from Italy during the World Cup, so who’s to say he did not do the same to Joel Embiid? Of course, an MVP-caliber player will be the most sought-after name to play in this coveted group of players.

  • Joel Embiid might want to be responsible for Team USA‘s redemption after placing only fourth place in the FIBA World Cup.
  • Lastly, it’s clear as day that Embiid wants to win. He may not win an NBA championship in the next couple of years with what he currently has in Philadelphia, but the 2023 MVP will surely bring home that Gold medal. He may have a similar chance with the French national team who will most likely have Victor Wembanyama, Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, and Frank Ntilikina. But, a superteam of LeBron, KD, Curry, and Embiid will be unstoppable.

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