MANILA, Philippines – Indonesia's American naturalized player Jamarr Johnson sat out the team's opener against Singapore on Friday, May 12 in the 2017 SEABA Championships here.
The 28-year-old forward said he still needs clearance from USA Basketball, America's basketball governing body, and subsequently FIBA, the sport's world federation.
"We are waiting to USAB to clear me but I've never played for the US National Team. We're just waiting for the US to clear me," he said following the Indonesian's 71-50 rout of the Singaporeans.
"I was notified this morning, during practice. It was shocking. I felt kind of disappointed at first but they say everything takes time. Hopefully, it does not stagnate the process [of me] playing in the SEABA too much."
The same is true for Indonesia's second import Arki Wisnu.
The 6-foot-5 Johnson was not on the official team lineups distributed to the media Friday. He was supposed to be the lone import among the 6 other opponents of the heavily favored Gilas Pilipinas or team Philippines.
Johnson may still be re-inserted into the lineup once he is cleared.
"The federation has already showed the documentation but we are just waiting for the US to reply. Waiting for that tomorrow," he said. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
Gilas and Indonesia are set to square off on the last day of the tournament on Thursday, May 18.
Though short-handed with only 10 men, Indonesia still breezed through Singapore, leading by 40-11 at halftime.
Johnson, a New Jersey native and a product of Widener University, went undrafted in the NBA in 2011. He has since played for the CLS Knights Surabaya in the Indonesian Basketball League as a naturalized citizen as he led them to the 2016 title while also being named Most Valuable Player. – Rappler.com