Flint might be competing with The Philippines for the right to claim JaVale McGee

May 16, 2012 in Professional

By Patrick Hayes

Flint, Mich., residents love their basketball history, so the fact that current NBA player JaVale McGee has ties to the area from his youth even though he didn’t live in Flint long is good enough. He’s a Flint native. But, via Kurt Helin of NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk, claiming McGee as your own seems to be the thing to do:

There is a bill working its way through the legislature in the Philippines to make JaVale McGee a naturalized citizen so he can play for their national basketball team in time for the 2013 Asia Championships (which feed into the World Championships in 2014).

It’s still as strange as the day we first wrote about it, but the legislation is new, something we learned about from SB Nation. For clarification, we need to add this — the Philippines did not qualify for the Olympics or the pre-Olympic last-chance qualifying tournament this summer. They will not be playing in London this summer.

McGee has apparently expressed his interest in playing for the team. Strange considering he’s young and talented enough to be a legitimate candidate for the U.S. national team at some point, I would think, considering the never-ending shortage of talented centers.