JAKARTA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia will give citizenship to three young African basketball players to strengthen the national squad ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
Chairman of the Indonesian Basketball Association Danny Kosasih says that the national men's basketball team play opponents from other countries where most of their players are taller than Indonesians.
Kosasih said that the national basketball team requires players with a minimum height of 2.1 meter to fill the center position.
He admitted that it is difficult to find basketball players who are taller than 2 meters, therefore the association has decided to naturalize three taller African basketball players below the age of 16.
"It is rare that our players are tall. I have searched for them, but I only found two players," Kosasih said.
Under the rules of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the governing body of basketball, naturalization is allowed for athletes below the age of 16.
Kosasih said that a total of 10 young African basketball players will undergo selection and the three selected players will be naturalized as Indonesian citizens.
The inclusion of the players from Africa is partly due to the achievable cost compared with players from the United States, Kosasih added.
A total of 32 teams are expected to feature at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan will host the tournament.