Sunday, June 21, 2009

FIBA Asia to crack down on nationality change?

FIBA Asia Secretary-General Yeoh Choo Hock said there can only be one player on each team who changed his nationality in the upcoming Asian Championship, China's reported.

'The rule is clear. There can only be one player who changes his nationality to play for a new country. And we will carefully examine every player on the rosters to make sure the rule is properly implemented, ' Yeoh was quoted saying.

The report mentioned that there have been a number of Asian countries trying to recruit players to change their nationalities for the Asian Championship.

Personally, I do think some countries have gone too far with their extensive effort on looking for players to change nationalities and play for them in Asian competitions. Yes, it happened in Europe, the World Championship and the Olympics too. However, the trend obviously has more impact in Asia, where there is a huge competition level gap that you couldn't possibly change overnight.

Is buying and recruiting foreign players the best solution? I don't think so. Of course every country will tell you about the player's bloodline, ancestry and history. But my point is that the most important part of developing basketball is to train and nurture local players, not recruit oversea players with 25% bloodline, isn't it?

I'll be a happy man if FIBA Asia does what Yeoh said. From past experience, however, I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

(Due to some factual errors I made in the story, I took out some paragraphs and rephrased some.)