Joel Embiid had a couple options for his Olympic allegiance, and he has made up his mind.
The reigning MVP revealed his intention to play for the United States in 2024 over France. Paris will host the games.
Embiid is a native of Cameroon, and he became both an American and French citizen within the last 18 months.
France toyed the idea of Embiid playing alongside Rudy Gobert and No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama, but Embiid’s sticking with what he calls home.
“I’ve been here for such a long time,” Embiid said at Philadelphia 76ers training camp Thursday. “For the past few years, every decision I’ve made has been based on just family. My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the U.S., with my son being born here. … I love my home country, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics.”
“It’s exciting for USA Basketball that Joel Embiid wants to represent the United States,” USA basketball managing director and former NBA star Grant Hill said. “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.”
The United States has won four straight gold medals dating back to the Redeem Team in 2008. However, they were upset in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the semifinals by Germany. Several stars who have expressed interest in playing in the Olympics, like LeBron James, Steph Curry and already-committed Kevin Durant, were absent from that tournament.
The United States defeated France in the gold medal game at the 2021 games in Tokyo.
Embiid, a six-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection has won back-to-back scoring titles. Last season, he scored a career-best 33.1 points per game. In his career, he has put up 27.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
He won the MVP vote by a sizable margin, getting 73 of the 100 first-place votes to claim the crown over Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.