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New Finn Wilson could bring new dimension to Susijengi
A 31-year-old point guard who shot to fame in the country in the 2010-11 campaign as a player with Espoon Honka, Wilson, who is married to former women's national team player Laura Wilson, has become a citizen of the country.
Describing himself as "New York born and bred" but "Finland through and through" on his Twitter account, Wilson is ecstatic to have passed his language fluency exam and to have been made a Finn.
Kiitos kaikille. Kunnia olla suomalainen ja odotan innolla uusia haasteita— Jamar Wilson (@JayDubbs5) June 3, 2015
In a tweet that he typed in Finnish (above), Wilson expressed his joy.
Translated, it says: "Thanks to all. It's an honor being Finnish, and I look forward to new challenges."
Finland coach Henrik Dettmann spoke about the player who has practiced with the national team in the past.
He said: "I am very happy for 'Jammu' [Wilson]. He has a Finnish wife and a child and I know how much the acquisition of Finnish citizenship and official recognition to her means.
"Jamar has been a familiar sight in the Susijengi's [national team] self-contained training period.
"He is a committed team player..."
Wilson is the all-time leading scorer for the University of Albany in American college basketball.
With Espoon Honka, he won the VTB United League scoring title with an average of 18.8 points per contest.
Wilson has played in Australia's NBL, Belgium and earlier this spring, he turned out for Rouen in the French top flight for eight games, averaging 9.5 points per contest.
He drilled nine of 16 shots (56.3 percent) from three-point range for the French team.
Finland national team assistant Pekka Salminen, who coached Wilson at Honka, raved about him.
He [Wilson] does everything on court above average, but his amazing speed and ability to get past the defender makes him special - Salminen
"He will surely bring the Susijengi a new dimension," Salminen said.
"[He's also] One of the most pleasant people I have ever met.
"Intelligent, a good team player and friend. Jamar is a 'class act' as the Americans would say."
Wilson is in the clouds after officially becoming a Finn.
"This is one of the most important moments of my life, in addition to the birth of my child and meeting my wife," he said.
"I have long felt myself a Finn, and I am very honored that it's now also official.
"Basketball is a big part of my life, but the acquisition of citizenship is a greater thing."
As for his national team prospects, Wilson said: "I have been practicing with the national team players during the summer.
"The national team is made up of humble, fine people with whom you have a lot of fun.
"The possibility of getting to represent and, perhaps, to help the Finnish team is very important to me."
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