Madrid: NBA forward Serge Ibaka was granted Spanish nationality on Friday, clearing the way for him to help Spain defend its European Championship title this summer.
"Spain is a country that has given me a lot," Ibaka said after Spain's Council of Ministers approved his petition for nationality. "It will be an honor to give Spain back all that it has given me on the court."
The 21-year-old Ibaka was born in the Republic of Congo but played for Spanish clubs for three years before moving to the NBA in 2009 to join the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to Spanish media reports, he maintains a residence in Barcelona.