Is Klay Thompson from the Bahamas? Why NBA guard joined Bahamian National team for Olympic training camp

It’s a big summer for four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson.

In addition to his impending free agency, Thompson has joined the Bahamas National Team for its preparation for an Olympic Qualifying Tournament in early July. Thompson’s decision may surprise those who remember him winning gold with Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but he does have strong ties to the Bahamas.

Is Thompson from the Bahamas? Here is why he joined the Bahamas National Team for training camp and whether or not he should be expected to compete for the nation during the summer.

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Is Klay Thompson from the Bahamas?

Thompson is an American citizen. He was born in Los Angeles before spending his childhood in Oregon and high school years in Orange County, Calif.

Thompson’s father, former No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson, was born and raised in the Bahamas before moving to the United States for high school. Klay Thompson is not considered an American-Bahamian dual citizen because it is unclear whether or not he has a Bahamian passport.

In addition to the connection to his father, Thompson’s older brother, Mychel, is an assistant coach for the Bahamian National Team.

Will Klay Thompson play for the Bahamas in the Olympics?

Thompson is not expected to receive clearance to play for the Bahamas, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania

Because Thompson has already represented the United States at an Olympic competition, he needs to receive clearance from FIBA and a Bahamian passport to become the national team’s naturalized player. FIBA guidelines allow each team one naturalized player.

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The Bahamas’ naturalized player is Suns guard Eric Gordon, who was born and raised in Indianapolis but is the son of an American father and a Bahamian mother. Gordon helped lead Team USA to gold at the 2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup but received clearance to represent the Bahamas in 2023.

In addition to questions about his clearance, Thompson’s free agency will impact his ability to play competitively this summer. After suffering two career-altering injuries in consecutive offseasons, Thompson could be advised to err on the side of caution as he looks to earn a considerable payday.

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How many Bahamian players are in the NBA?

Thompson is one of several NBA players present at the Bahamas National Team’s training camp.

Here is a list of NBA players who are from the Bahamas or have ties to the country through their parents:

Player Team Hometown
Deandre Ayton Trail Blazers Nassau, Bahamas
Eric Gordon Suns Indianapolis
Buddy Hield 76ers Freeport, Bahamas
Kai Jones Clippers Nassau, Bahamas
Evan Mobley Cavaliers Murrieta, Calif.
Isaiah Mobley Cavaliers Murrieta, Calif.
Naz Reid Timberwolves Asbury Park, N.J.
Klay Thompson Warriors Ladera Ranch, Calif.

In addition to the eight NBA players, incoming Baylor freshman and projected 2025 lottery pick VJ Edgecombe is a native of the Bahamas. Edgecombe will be joined by another McDonald’s All-American and incoming Syracuse freshman Donnie Freeman as collegiate Bahamian stars who could help lead the national team to the Olympics.

Will the Bahamas play in the 2024 Paris Olympics?

The Bahamas National Team must win a six-team Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Valencia, Spain from July 2 to 7. Here are the teams that will vie for the spot:

  • Angola
  • Bahamas
  • Finland
  • Lebanon
  • Poland
  • Spain
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