American basketball player William Artino (???) received his Taiwanese ID on Monday, which would allow him to represent Taiwan in international games.
Artino, 29, got his identification card after completing his naturalization process to become a Republic of China (Taiwan's official name) citizen, becoming the second American athlete to do so following the pioneering precedent of Quincy Davis III (???) in 2013.
Unlike Davis III, Artino did not have to give up his American citizenship to be naturalized.
Taiwan's Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) revealed Artino's new status in a press release issued Monday, stating that Artino was accompanied by a translator and CTBA Deputy Secretary-General Lee Yun-hsiang (???) during the process.
According to the press statement, Artino shared that it had been a difficult process and a long wait.
He said that after more than a year of waiting, during which other nations had reached out with their own offers, he was glad to be in Taiwan, thanks to the help of many along the way.
Artino said that he had turned away all the other countries that had made him offers because he and his wife both liked the cultural environment of Taiwan, leading them to consider the country as their ideal second home.
He went on to add that he felt honored to become Taiwanese and that he was looking forward to the day when he could put on a jersey and represent Taiwan.
According to the CTBA, the association will do its best to help Artino, whose normal position is center and is 2.11 meters, play in a local basketball league.
However, despite the fact that many teams have already shown interest in drafting the new Taiwanese player, CTBA said Artino's main duty was to play for the nation.
As such, Artino would need a three-party contract between himself, CTBA, and whichever team he ends up with, with the player's first priority being to represent the nation, according to the association.
The CTBA has planned for the national team to participate in many international games next year, with Artino scheduled to be included on the team's roster.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel