The Syrian government granted American basketball player, Justin Hawkins, the Syrian nationality making him the first American to receive the nationality and play for the Syrian national team.
“It is certain that Hawkins, chosen by the coach of our national team, will join us to support the team in the Basketball World Cup in China,” the Syrian Basketball League said.
The league posted some personal information about Hawkins on their Facebook page saying that he used to play for a Saudi team, and has experience in the NBA in the US.
They added that his wife, who stayed back in the US, was worried for him, but he called her upon his arrival in Damascus at dawn to reassure her. They also said that he loves Syrian shawarma.
According to al-Khabar TV, Syria’s government had previously granted the nationality to a player from Montenegro, Ivan Todorovic, who played for the Syrian team in the last Asian cup in Lebanon.