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Old 03-20-2007, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Adonal Foyle Becomes U.S. Citizen

Adonal Foyle Becomes U.S. Citizen
Warriors All-Time Blocked Shots Leader Naturalized At Ceremony In San Francisco

When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalized more than 1,000 people at San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium on March 13, one of the new citizens literally stood out above the rest. Adonal Foyle, the 6’10” center for the Golden State Warriors, took his U.S. citizenship on Tuesday, becoming fully naturalized after living in the country for more than 15 years.
"It's a really big deal," Foyle said. "It's been in the works for almost 10 years. It's pretty amazing that it's finally here and that I can do that. I can get a passport and get in and out of Canada a lot easier than before."

Foyle, a 10-year NBA veteran, was drafted by Golden State in the first round of the 1997 NBA draft and has spent his entire professional career with the Warriors. Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a group of Caribbean islands, Foyle did not play organized basketball until he was 16. After being seen on a local basketball court by two professors who were visiting Dominica, Foyle was offered the chance to come to America, where he could learn the game of basketball and have the opportunity to earn an excellent education.

Though the decision was not easy, Foyle moved to New York with the two professors, Jay and Joan Mandle. Needless to say, moving from a five-square mile island (population 1,000) to a country the size of the United States was quite a change for Foyle. However, he came to excel both in the classroom and on the basketball court, eventually earning a scholarship to play basketball at Colgate University, where he would leave as the NCAA's all-time leader in blocked shots (492).

Now in his 10th season with the Warriors, Foyle is Golden State’s all-time franchise leader in blocked shots and has ranked among the NBA’s top-10 in blocks in four of the last six seasons.

Foyle is also known for his commitment to community service, having won the NBA Community Assist award twice during his career, as well as for his love of education and the arts. In 2001, he founded 'Democracy Matters', a non-partisan organization that gives students a voice in issues of democracy. Adonal has spent countless hours committed to things such as voter registration drives and petition campaigns, yet until now, he himself has not possessed the right to vote.

"When you decide to do something like this, you have to think about it and what it means and you obviously get to study. You get to seriously think about what you're doing, what you're committing to, things that you would take for granted, like the ability to vote", Foyle said. "When I left the Caribbean, I was 15 and I was not the age to vote, and when I came here I was illegal. I have not cast a ballot. That's astounding."

Adonal celebrated his 32nd birthday on Friday, March 9. It's clear, though, that his best gift arrived just a few days later.

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