Moon Tae-jong, better known as Jarod Stevenson in the States, recently participated in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship games representing South Korea after having received dual citizenship (South Korea, U.S.) a few months ago. This year, Korea placed third behind China and Jordan with an overall record of 7-2. The small forward is also a member of the Korean Basketball League’s ET Land Elephants.
Although some question his sincerity in joining the team, Moon said that he’s proud to play for Korea: “I will try my best to represent Korea and help us get to the Olympics. It’s an honor to play for my mother’s country, and the place of my birth.” Garnering praise from many, including Hur Jae, coach of the Korean National Team, Moon may play a large role in Korea’s pursuit of a spot in the Olympics.
Check out some highlights from the bronze medal game against Philippines (Moon makes a nice three-pointer around 1:04)!
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.