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Lebanon’s national men’s basketball team acquires new American center

Lebanon’s national men’s basketball team acquires new American center

Arledge, when he played with FC Porto, in the Portuguese national league. (Credit: Arledge's Instagram account)

BEIRUT — Jonathan Arledge is the latest player to join Lebanon’s Men’s national basketball team, after being granted Lebanese citizenship by presidential decree Thursday.

Here’s what we know:

  • In decree no. 9416, published in today’s official gazette, Arledge’s request for Lebanese citizenship was accepted “in view of the relevant services he performs for Lebanon.” The decree was signed by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi.

  • FIBA (International Basketball Federation) regulations allow each national team to have one naturalized citizen on its roster. The 29-year-old Arledge joins a long list of US basketball players granted Lebanese citizenship, including such former players as Joe Vogel and the late Jackson Vroman. A center, Arledge played in the NCAA collegiate league with the George Mason Patriots. Most recently he was with FC Porto, in the Portuguese national league.

  • Under Lebanon’s 1925 nationality law, the only means of obtaining Lebanese citizenship are being born to a Lebanese father, or being married to one. Lebanese women who are married to foreigners cannot give their citizenship to their husband or their children. Ironically, children of such unions are forbidden from representing Lebanon in international sporting events.

  • Lebanon is set to play against Jordan on July 1 in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.


BEIRUT — Jonathan Arledge is the latest player to join Lebanon’s Men’s national basketball team, after being granted Lebanese citizenship by presidential decree Thursday. Here’s what we know:  • In decree no. 9416, published in today’s official gazette, Arledge’s request for Lebanese citizenship was accepted “in view of the relevant services he performs for Lebanon.” The...