The „C“in „C.J. Wallace“stands for Congo!

C.J. Wallace signed with FC Barcelona for two years and is probably going to get a Congolese passport to play as an “extracomunitario” in Spain. That comes after he tried to get an Albanian passport in the first place, but gave up on this after it took too long to get it.

It’s no secret anymore that a couple of U.S. basketball players are using the Spanish influence (link to older story) on the African continent to obtain a passport from the continent, to play as African citizen.

The ACB recently changed its rules regarding import players, as it would have ran into trouble with the laws of the European Union if it would have kept it strict rules regarding foreign-born players.

Starting this season, the ACB allows players with passports from “ACP States” to join their league in the same way as the “European Union-citizen” players do. This means, they no longer count against the non-European player contingent and since there are six spots in each team that can be filled with such ACP/EU- players, there is now a lot of interest by Spanish teams to fill these spots with U.S. Americans that also hold a passport from one of the countries with this affiliation.

Additionally, each team is able to sign another two players not hailing from the European Union or from a state with a Cotonou-affiliation, so native Spaniards are going to get a hard time from now on, regarding playing-time. Germany opened up their market in the past and the minutes up until today for German players are quite limited.

U.S.-born guys like Charles Ramsdell (Madagascar), Errick Craven (Ivory Coast), Jimmy Williams (Togo), James Mays (Central African Republic), Chris Rodgers (Cameroon) and Robert Thomson (Rwanda) may end up playing in the ACB next year as well as “real” African players that all competed in the previous African Championships in Madagascar this August.

The case of Wallace is a bit different to the mentioned players above, as he is trying to use the loophole although never even playing for or in the country. And both Congo’s did not even sent a team to the qualifiers for the African Championships 2011, so there is no need to naturalize Wallace at all. I even doubt, that he can name the capital of the country without googling it, let alone any club-team or player from that country that is not carrying the name “Mutombo” or “Ibaka”.

We don’t know who the driving force behind all this is really, but I remember similar cases in the past in Spain. Say hello to C.J.’s new team-mate Petko Mihailov.

But that is not all – The ACB does have also the probably only Azeri-Mormon around.

Better be prepared for more such exotic cases in Spain soon and more weird announcements in the media and no one stepping up to stop this charades.{jathumbnail off}

In the meantime, I’m on my way to the gym to prepare for a possible try-out in Spain. I recently received my East Timor-passport recently…