American basketball player William Artino arrived in Taiwan on Thursday evening after completing his naturalization abroad last month, allowing him to represent Taiwan in international competitions.
Artino is one of the few foreigners to have been granted an exemption to retain the nationality of their country of origin while acquiring Taiwanese nationality.
The 29-year-old center, 2.11m and his wife arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7:40 p.m. after disembarking from a United Airlines flight departing from San Francisco.
Lee Yun-hsiang (李雲翔), deputy secretary general of Taiwan’s Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), said the organization would help Artino apply for his national ID card, adding that it was possible that Artino could get their card before Christmas.
Under the Nationality Law (國籍法), a mandatory condition for a foreign national applying for naturalization is legal residence in Taiwan for at least five consecutive years, during which he must have stayed more than 183 days per year. .
The expedited nature of Artino’s naturalization allowed him to bypass the standard minimum residence requirement. He also did not have to give up his US citizenship.
Artino’s naturalization process is an example that would attract more international basketball players wanting to naturalize to play for Taiwan, Lee said.
CTBA made it clear last week that Artino was recruited primarily to play for the national team, and any club wishing to sign him should respect him.
Any contract with Artino to play for a team in one of Taiwan’s professional basketball leagues should be made between Artino, the club and the CTBA, and stipulate that priority would be given to the training and competition program of the national team, CTBA said in a statement. declaration.
Post player Artino once played for a Taiwanese club, when he played for the Formosa Dreamers in the ASEAN Basketball League in the 2018-19 season, averaging 20.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
He also played professionally in Denmark, Estonia and Romania after completing his college career at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2015 and spent the 2020-2021 season in Mexico’s top professional league with the Panteras de Aguascalientes, where he obtained averages of 17.4 points and 8.8. bounces a match.
Taiwan has two professional basketball leagues, the T1 League and the P.League +, each made up of six clubs, in addition to the semi-professional SBL, which is made up of five teams.
Artino comes as Taiwan struggles to place some of its best players on the national team, in part due to their contractual obligations to professional league clubs in Taiwan and abroad.
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