Two half-Korean professional basketball players in Korea were granted citizenship today, making them eligible to play for the Korean national team. Moon Tae-jong, 35, and Moon Tae-young, 33, are brothers who were born between a Korean mother and an African American father in Seoul, and had only carried U.S. citizenships until now.
The South Korean Justice Ministry explained that the brothers were able to receive Korean citizenship because of the country’s revised immigration law, under which “foreigners with outstanding talents” can be offered dual citizenship, the Korea Herald reports.
Tae-young was recruited by the LG Sakers in 2009 and finished the year with an average of 21.9 points, while Tae-jong was recruited by the ET Land Elephants the following year and ended the season with a 17.4 point average.
With the help of recommendations from the Korea Basketball League Association and the Korean Olympic committee, the Moons were granted citizenship just in time to represent the national team in international games. Tae-jong is already on the preliminary roster for the Asian championships.