KBL decides on ‘special naturalization’ Lagana status as ‘foreign player’

Professional basketball’s ‘special naturalization’ player Ragan-ah, 35, will be classified as a foreign player next season.

The Korean Basketball League (KBL) held a board meeting at the KBL Center on Sunday morning and announced that it has decided to follow the KBL’s foreign player rules from next season.

The decision comes amid growing controversy over Lagana’s status as his contract with Busan KCC 먹튀검증 expires at the end of May.

As a special naturalized player, Laguna was considered an exception to the roster limit of two foreign players per team. This decision changed that. He now has the same status as other foreign players.

Laguna, who joined the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in 2012, passed the special naturalization examination by the Ministry of Justice in 2018 and became a Korean citizen. As a result, he competed for his country at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.

In the 2023-24 Jungkwanjang Professional Basketball League playoffs, Ragan averaged 22.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 12 games, good enough to finish second in the Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting (27 votes) behind Heo Woong (31 votes).

Now, it’s time to play the foreign player card. Ragan-ah, who helped Busan KCC win the championship, would like to stay, but he is in his mid-30s and the KBL clubs have to be cautious when it comes to paying foreign players.

Meanwhile, the KBL has decided to expand the number of countries eligible for the Asian quota to seven from the 2025-26 season. Japan and the Philippines will be joined by five new countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Following last season’s controversy over fraudulent voting (multiple accounts with the same contact), the All-Star Game voting system will be revamped to 50 percent fan voting and 50 percent media voting. We’re also tightening fan voting eligibility and procedures. Fans under the age of 14 will be able to vote for All-Stars after verifying their family relationship.

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