Andray Blatche: 'I am Filipino now'

Andray Blatche is still waiting to officially become a naturalized Filipino.

But the Brooklyn Nets big man has already declared that he is Filipino.

"I am very excited to play for the Philippines, and I thank everyone for making this once-in-a-lifetime chance happen," Blatche said, according to Agence France-Presse. "I am Filipino now, so I will do my best to help my team."

Blatche met with members of the Philippine Senate, which passed a law that would grant him citizenship so he can play in the World Cup in Spain for the Asian country.

He still needs the signature of President Benigno Aquino III on a Senate bill in order to become a naturalized Filipino. National team coach Chot Reyes said he expects that to happen before the June 30 FIBA deadline, again according to Agence France-Presse.

Meanwhile, Blatche is currently in Manila, and he is quickly figuring out just how passionate the country is about basketball.

“What I've learned so far is that people here love basketball," Blatche said. "That means a lot. I would love to be part of a culture like that."