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Report: Wizards' Drew Gooden won't play for Finland at FIBA World Cup

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Drew Gooden reportedly won't get to represent Finland this summer.  (USATSI)
Drew Gooden reportedly won't get to represent Finland this summer. (USATSI)

Washington Wizards big man Drew Gooden, whose mother is Finnish, planned to play for Finland in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. His application for dual citizenship, however, won't be cleared in time to do so, according to the Washington Post's Jorge Castillo.

Finland's submitted 12-man roster did not include Gooden, according to a Finnish report. He begun the paperwork process during Washington's first-round series this past spring, per the Washington Post, and he recently said he wanted to make this happen eventually regardless of what happened this summer:

“If something happens and there's a bump in the road where this is not possible this year, I'm still going to be going there and supporting the team, supporting the players in Spain and start to build a relationship for the future for years to come,” Gooden said. “Either way you want to see it, I'm still going to get my dual citizenship and I am going to become a Finnish citizen, whether I'm playing on the team or not, eventually.”

This is bad news for the Finnish national team, which would have presumably made Gooden its go-to guy. Cavaliers forward Erik Murphy will remain on the roster, though -- he already has a Finnish passport.

The FIBA World Cup begins on Aug. 30.

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