NBA star, Onyeka Okongwu is considering switching his international representation from Nigeria to the Philippines for the Olympic qualifiers.
Okongwu, who plays as a center for the Atlanta Hawks, was included in the 60-man provisional list for the qualifiers by the Philippines’ Gilas team.
Despite being eligible to represent the United States also due to being born in California, Okongwu is open to dropping them in favour of the Philippines.
The presence of well-known stars representing the United States may make it easier for them to let him go.
The Philippines aren’t the only team that is reportedly pursuing Okongwu to join their team. Nigeria has also expressed interest in naturalising Okongwu so that he could play for them in international competitions.
Meanwhile, the instability within the Nigeria Basketball Federation may hinder their chances of securing a player of his calibre following their failure to make it past the pre-Olympic tournament held in Lagos.
Okongwu, who grew up in the vibrant Filipino culture of Chino Hills, is reportedly considering naturalising to represent the Philippines.
Currently, his priority is securing a lucrative second NBA contract before the season begins. According to NBA statistics, he is eligible for a 5 year, $207 million deal.
Okongwu, who last year averaged 9.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, a 64% field goal, and a 78% free throw percentage, can become a restricted free agent next season.