OKC's center Kante opens up on his ordeal - wants American citizenship Off the Pitch | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips
Off the Pitch

OKC’s center Kante opens up on his ordeal – wants American citizenship

Enes Kanter has set his sights on becoming an American citizen after being detained in Romania because his passport had been cancelled by the Turkish government.

The Oklahoma City Thunder center first encountered problems In Indonesia while on a world tour to support his charity The Light Foundation.

Having allegedly been reported to the Indonesian secret service and army by the Turkish officials, Kanter fled to Europe – via Singapore – but his problems were not over there.

With his passport cancelled he was detained in Bucharest until the NBA – working with the United States State Department – were able to get him back across the Atlantic.

Kanter – who has reportedly enraged Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his outspoken views against the Turkish president – is grateful to the US for welcoming him back home and he is now looking to secure dual citizenship.

“I’m open for adoption,” he told reporters in New York. “My next move is to just become an American citizen.”

The 25-year-old admitted he was scared when he was deemed a wanted man in Jakarta, and remains concerned for the welfare of his family back home in Turkey.

“As soon as they [his parents] are in contact with me, they’d put them in jail,” he added.

“And if they sent me back to Turkey, there’s a chance you guys wouldn’t have heard a word from me the second day.

“I’m not a journalist, I’m a basketball player. But right now, my family can’t even go out to eat. My brother told me my dad went to the supermarket and they spit on his face.

“I try to be the voice of those innocent people. I believe whatever it takes is important for those kids and our future. Because those are going to be the kids that make the changes.

“There are thousands of people getting kidnapped, put into jail, getting tortured or raped. I stand for what I believe,” he said on Monday. “I hope the whole world is watching this, human rights groups and the European Union. I want people to do something about it.”


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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