NBA player Kyle Anderson, born in New York, obtains Chinese citizenship; will play for China in World Cup


Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson obtained Chinese citizenship and will compete in the upcoming FIBA World Cup for China, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) announced Monday.

Anderson was born in New York City and played high school basketball at St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, New Jersey. Chinese media said Anderson’s maternal grandmother was born in Jamaica to a Chinese father and a Jamaican mother, allowing Anderson to gain citizenship, according to Reuters.

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Kyle Anderson vs Pelicans

Kyle Anderson of the Timberwolves handles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans at Target Center on April 9, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

He was dubbed Li Kai’er in a news release.

“With the promotion and support of all parties, Li Kai’er obtained Chinese nationality this morning,” the CBA said on its Weibo account, according to the Agence French-Presse. 

“We thank all parties for their support and help, Li’s family for their support, and the fans and media for their long-term attention to the Chinese men’s basketball team.”

Anderson was seen in a photo next to Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets star and current president of the CBA. 

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Kyle Anderson smiles

Kyle Anderson of the Minnesota Timberwolves smiles against the Lakers during the Play-In Tournament on April 11, 2023, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles. (Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s unclear if Anderson renounced his American nationality. China’s strict rules usually prevent dual nationality for its citizens, according to Reuters.

Anderson talked about finding his Chinese ancestry in 2018. He and his mother spent a summer with some of their long-lost relatives in the village of Shenzhen.

“Just being able to go back generations and find relatives from the other side of the world was just so breathtaking,” he told CloseUp360 at the time. “I still don’t have the words to describe what we felt there and how nice the people were, meeting them. It was awesome.”

Anderson spent the 2022-23 season with the Timberwolves. He played 69 games for the team, starting 46 of them. He averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in that span.

Christian Braun defends Kyle Anderson

Christian Braun of the Denver Nuggets defends against Kyle Anderson of the Timberwolves at Target Center on April 23, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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China is ranked No. 27 in the world, according to FIBA. China is in Group B in the World Cup with South Sudan, Serbia and Puerto Rico.



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