National basketball team dominated by diaspora athletes

By Minh Thu   October 1, 2019 | 08:45 pm PT
National basketball team dominated by diaspora athletes
Vietnamese American Tam Dinh in Vietnam's national basketball team jersey at SEA Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo courtesy of SEA Games 2017.
As many as 11 Vietnamese-origin players have been called up to the 18-member national basketball team.

This makes the first Vietnamese national team in history composed of so many foreign players.

In the last SEA Games two years ago, Vietnam only had three foreigners in their national basketball team.

All the 11 Vietnamese-origin players play in the Vietnam Basketball Association's professional league. Notable among them are the Vietnamese American Dinh brothers – Tam Dinh and Sang Dinh of Cantho Catfish, Vietnamese American Justin Young of Thang Long Warriors and Vietnamese Swedish Stephen Nguyen of Hanoi Buffaloes.

Two Vietnamese American free-agent players, Chris Dierker and Cilia Corey, have also been called up.

The head coach of Vietnam national basketball team is American Kevin Yurkus, who just left Cantho Catfish for the new position.

The national team began a two-month training schedule towards the end of September in preparation for competing at the SEA Games 30 in the Philippines.

With a roster full of Vietnamese-origin players, Vietnam is hopeful of winning a medal this time after not making it through the group stage in SEA Games 29.

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