Fil-Nigerian Brit and NBA foreign stars prove hoops is going global

EL SEGUNDO — As basketball becomes the world’s game, the rest of the world is catching up.

About a quarter of the NBA is made up of foreign players.

“Every year we’re getting more international players; I think it’s awesome,” said Domantas Sabonis, Lithuania/Indiana Pacers. “It’s great for the league having global international players in the NBA.”

“The world has been getting better. Proud to be with guys from Australia from France, Embiid, from Cameroon. The world is catching up to American basketball. This shows how hard we’ve been working,” said Buddy Hield, Bahamas/Sacramento Kings

The League’s Basketball Beyond Borders brought 67 teenagers representing 36 countries for a three-day camp.

Among the world top youth talents was Britain based Filipino-Nigerian Gilas prospect, AJ Edu.

“It’s been an amazing experience really, playing with such a high-level competition. It’s probably the highest level I’ve played with,” said Edu. “It’s been amazing. Some great coaches. Got to meet NBA players; overall great experience.”

The 6’10 18-year-old is not only trying to make a name for himself, but he’s doing it for the Philippines. Earlier this year, Edu was named to the Gilas 23-for 23 pool.

“That’s also on my mind. I’m obviously really delighted to be selected for the World Cup 2023 initial squad, so I’m also working towards that as well.”

Edu now brings his newly acquired skills back to England to finish up his senior year of high school, then its off to college — which he says may most likely be at an American university.

With programs like Basketball Without Borders helping the evolution of international players, it may only be a matter of time before the Philippines can produce the next NBA foreign sensation.

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