Jakarta (ANTARA) - Three basketball players, who are set to join the national basketball team, officially became Indonesian citizens (WNI) after taking the loyalty oath at the Law and Human Rights Ministry's regional office here on Monday.

Two of the players -- Dame Diagne and Serigne Modou Kane -- from Senegal are being prepared by Indonesia's Basketball Association (Perbasi) to participate in the FIBA World Cup 2023, while the third, Marques Terrel Bolden, who once played for Senegal and NBA team Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020-2021, will play for the national team in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 in August this year.

Bolden will compete for a spot on the national team with another naturalized player, Lester Prosper, who will also play for the national team in the qualifier round of FIBA Asia Cup 2021. According to FIBA regulations, each team can only field one naturalized player.

Their naturalization ceremony began with the singing of the Indonesian national anthem, which was followed by an inauguration script reading and the players swearing an oath of loyalty to the nation, led by head of Jakarta's Law and Human Rights Ministry regional office, Ibnu Chulun.

"They are very happy and proud to have officially become WNIs. They are determined to give their best on the field for Indonesia and make Indonesia a force to be reckoned with in the international level," manager of Indonesia's National Basketball Team, Maulana Fareza Tamrella, said during a press conference organized by Perbasi.

PP Perbasi secretary general Nirmala Dewi warmly welcomed the completion of the naturalization process of the three players.

"We are happy that they have become WNIs. We are very confident that we can compete and make Indonesia proud with their fresh addition," Dewi said.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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