Inside Joel Embiid’s decision to commit to Team USA for the 2024 Olympics
FORT COLLINS, CO - Joel Embiid wanted to take as much time as he could.
No, not to be difficult or create suspense. Rather, in his words, it was just a tough decision to make.
France gave him a deadline. Cameroon is his home country. But, Embiid wanted, more than anything, to play in the Olympics.
He needed to have one more conversation before giving his commitment to Grant Hill, the former NBA star turned executive director of Team USA.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne broke the news at 9:52 a.m., Mountain time, before the third day of training camp even opened to the media in attendance: Embiid will represent Team USA in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
"It was tough. Obviously, I loved all three options. With my home country, which I love a lot. But, I really wanted to participate in the Olympics. That's been my goal and my dream," Embiid told reporters in Moby Arena on Thursday.
But, there were other critical factors in the decision. Factors that go beyond a goal on a checklist or an experience he had only ever imagined when he closed his eyes.
Nowadays, most of Embiid's decisions revolve around family. Specifically, his son, Arthur. Such is life for most dads.
"You add that with the fact that my son is American and I've been here for such a long time. I just felt like, for the past few years since he was born, every decision has been made just based on family. My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the US and our son being born here," Embiid explained.
"Like I said, loving my home country. But, ultimately, I really wanted to play in the Olympics. Like I said, I loved all three options. I'm really thankful for that opportunity. France, the commitment they were willing to make, I really appreciated. So, it was a tough decision. I was trying to take my time as much as possible. But, it was kind of made hard by the deadline that was put."
Make no mistake about it, Embiid is happy with his decision.
The team whose jersey he dons from the fall to the summer might not have the best chance in the field at a championship right now. But, the team whose jersey he dons during the summer sure will.
Where to watch Phillies Playoff games during Red October in Atlantic and Cape May Counties
Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media