mojo13 wrote:So what is the problem with Morris and Nigeria?
He MIGHT be their new naturalized player to replace Dinwiddie who is seemingly hurt. They needed a high level PG and went out and got one. How is this different than a Turkey buying Larkin or countless other Euro counties doing the same thing?
Who else specifically is in question for Nigeria? Name a rostered player that was not a citizen of Nigeria and had the documents to prove it prior to age 16? Show me when Nigeria rostered two naturalized players. Show me a player that is considered a natural born citizen but you think should be naturalized.
I just don’t see the issue here - especially for something that hasn’t even happened. It is Morris or Dinwiddie not both. Nigeria, like other countries can have multiple naturalized players in their pool, they just can’t be on on the final roster at the same time. Like Spain with Mirotic and Ibaka.
This is just a poorly written hype article by a Nigerian writer. Nigeria can not and will not roster both Morris and Dinwiddie - tell me their other problematic roster players. The writer can talk all he wants about a windfall of nba players coming to play for Nigeria - doesn’t mean it’s happening. He even covered his butt on Morris not playing.
With Caleb Agada - I don’t think we know his full backstory and need to know a few things. He has Nigerian parents, did he get his citizenship papers and passport before the age of 16? (I think so). Or is he considered naturalized? If naturalized, did he ever play for Nigeria when another naturalized player was on the roster? Of not, then what’s the problem?
FIBA is not playing with different sets of rule for different countries when it comes to naturalization. It’s silly to even think this. Think of the uproar from other national federations if this was happening. The looseness is with the individual countries and how easy they are with citizenship. Some counties like Nigeria and Turkey, you just need to flip and wand and presto - instant citizen. You can’t do this in Canada, there are very strict rules for citizenship as the Matt Bonner fiasco showed us. Could we recruit any old NBA star to play for Canada as a naturalized player...sure, if we can manage the citizenship piece.
Could a country forge papers to show that a player was a “citizen” before age 16? Sure...does it happen? The Philippines might have tried and failed. But I don’t know (maybe Nigeria is, for all we know)....but you can’t blame FIBA for that.
Or just be like Qatar and import promising kids from the Balkans at age 12 or 13 and try to develop them top flight players (with very little success) . I mean, if Qatar, has to go this desperate route, rather than just buy, bribe, cheat their way around the naturalization rule into better players it should tell you something.
But back to the issue of naturalization- look at it this way: Basically one player per country can be considered a free agent. It is up to the country to grant citizenship if it wants even if the player has absolutely ZERO ties to that country. We’ve seems this happen many, many times. Some more blatant than others. Many counties take advantage or this and it is totally within the rules. Many countries don’t. Nigeria has done nothing of concern here - many of you should know that.
Just look at their recent rosters. They have 10-11 players that were born and raised in the USA. Played high school and college basketball in the USA. Have lived their entire lives in the USA.
It shouldn't just matter if they had citizenship before age 16, because other countries have to have players staying in their country and with citizenship, either by age 16, or before age 14 (rules apparently placed on Greece and Spain and maybe others).
It shouldn't really just matter if Nigeria sends FIBA some document that claims these players had citizenship at age 16. Because anyone can check and see that they were born in the USA and lived their entire lives in the USA. At age 16, they were not in Nigeria, they were all playing high school basketball in the USA.
It also shouldn't just matter if they have a rule that you get citizenship if your parents have citizenship. Because FIBA passport rules have required that in such cases, the player be physically in the country to get their citizenship, through an official process. They shouldn't just be able to say their parent has Nigerian citizenship and that's it.
For example, if an American or Canadian or whatever player has a Greek parent and they want to get Greek citizenship and also a verified FIBA passport, they have to wait for 5 years after signing documents, which must be completed in Greece by them in person and by their parents. Then they must be physically staying inside of the country of Greece for at least 2 years after that, and then plus after they take citizenship and get a passport, they have to be staying in the country for one year's time, and then go to an official swearing in ceremony, attended by the Greek President. Only after all of that, can they be counted under FIBA's guidelines as having a Greek passport. It takes 5 years time total. It takes 3 years of staying in the country, and it takes 1 year after they get approved for the passport. Without physically being inside the country, none of that counts.
And from all the claims made by Greece's federation and coaches, they will now be counted as "naturalized" players, unless they were staying in Greece by age 14, not age 16. They can't just say, my parents were Greek, and Greece has natural birth citizenship, so I want to play for Greece. The passport rules don't work like that, and I never heard of any instances where they worked like that, until what we see with Nigeria. The athlete has to actually physically be presently staying in the country and go through an official period of time and an official ceremony. It's always been that way as far as I know, ever since they had these naturalized player rules.
Of course some countries have very different time periods. Most countries don't have such long time periods for it like Greece. As you mentioned Turkey for example. If I remember right, it's 3 years total for Turkey. You have to be physically staying inside Turkey for 3 years. You can't just get a passport because the federation wants to give you one. I think they also have a special sped up process for people that can make a contribution to Turkey. So the federation can speed it up under those instances, but even then, if I remember right, it is still is 2 years of time staying in the country, before you can get a passport, even under the special process.
This is not remotely like what FIBA seems to be doing with deciding on the eligibility of Nigerian players. At recent tournaments, they had up to 10-11 players that have never been staying in Nigeria. They never physically were residents there at any time in their lives, and somehow they are just getting passports and being allowed to play in FIBA tournaments.
FIBA shouldn't have a system where players have to be staying in the country for a set amount of time to qualify for certain national teams, and then for Nigeria, just act as that doesn't also apply to them.
You mentioned Larkin and Turkey. I believe from articles I read before, that he was granted the special exemption by the Turkish government, in that he could contribute to Turkey. But even under that sped up process, I believe it means 2 years of physically being in Turkey. And if you look at it, Larkin had been in Turkey for 2 years, when he supposedly got a Turkish passport, and it was 3 years of time, before he actually played in a game with Turkey. Scottie Wilbekin and Bobby Dixon were physically in Turkey for 3 years, before they got a passport.
Those are not examples of the same things as these Nigerian player cases. You have players being inside Turkey for 3 years of time, before they play a game with Turkey's national team. With Nigeria, you have players that are never in Nigeria, and yet are eligible to play, without being in the country at all.