The Washington Post

Andray Blatche officially a Filipino citizen despite being American

(Associated Press)

Former Washington Wizards big man Andray Blatche’s odd quest to become a Filipino citizen in order to play for that country’s national basketball team has come to a happy conclusion, as Philippines President Benigno Aquino III signed a law on Wednesday that granted him citizenship.

Blatche, it should be mentioned, was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and is not of Filipino descent. Nevertheless, he’ll play for the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup, which begins in late August in Spain. FIBA rules allow one naturalized player per team.

Philippines Coach Chot Reyes is excited, expressing his thanks to the president on Twitter.

According to ESPN, Blatche flew to the Philippines on Sunday to meet his new countrymen.

Blatche averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds last season for the Brooklyn Nets. He has said he plans to opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, though he has expressed a desire to stay with the Nets.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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