Members of the House of Representatives have proposed the naturalization of American basketball player Justin Brownlee, the known import of Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel.
On August 15, representatives Michael Romero, Enrico Pineda, Erico Aristotle Aumentado, and Scott Davies Lanete filed House Bill No. 8106 to start the process of granting a Filipino citizenship to the 30-year old import.
In their explanatory note, the lawmakers cited the accomplishments of Brownlee including winning two championships with the Brgy. Ginebra and being feted Best Import during the 2018 Governor’s Cup.
HB 8106 also stated that Brownlee, who has a very decorated and illustrious career, has expressed interest in playing for the Philippine National Men’s Basketball team, also known as Gilas Pilipinas, and having a permanent home in the Philippines.
“He has brought enormous pride and joy to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), as well as to all basketball enthusiasts in the country. Justin Brownlee said he can have a house here just like Norman Black or other imports who have fallen in love with the Filipinos and the Philippines,” the bill said.
The bill further said that Brownlee’s activeness in community service and dependability in helping people is a true mark of a Filipino spirit and character.
“His allegiance in this country is indubitable, his skills and competency in the field of basketball shall truly complement the entire nation,” the bill claimed.
Aside from competing in the PBA, Brownlee also played for Alab Pilipinas during their championship run in the 8th ASEAN Basketball League.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) currently searches for a new naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas in preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup that will be co-hosted by the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.
However, SBP officials and national coach Chot Reyes named younger players like Isaiah Austin, 24 years old, and Jordan Clarkson, 26, as possible new naturalized players since they will be at their peak by 2023.
Currently, Andray Blatche is the sole naturalized player for the Gilas Pilipinas.