Boston Celtics’ player Enes Kanter legally changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom. He celebrated becoming a US citizen on Monday. Kanter was Born in Switzerland and was raised as a Turkish national. Enes posted a video on social media of his citizenship ceremony where he recited the oath using his new name.
The Boston Celtics player has raised his voice against various human rights violations including in China and Turkey. During an interview with CNN, Kanter said that he changed his name to reflect the fight for freedom he has gone through throughout his life. He said that the kind of freedom he experienced in the US, he never experienced that in Turkey.
“As you guys know, that’s the one thing my whole life I’ve tried to fight for. When I came to America, to me it was so amazing because here there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of the press which I did not have any of those in Turkey. And freedom also is the greatest thing that a human being can have. So that’s why I wanted to make that more a part of me and carry it wherever I do. And that word definitely means the world to me,” Kanter told CNN.
According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN’s, Kanter called becoming a U.S. citizen on Monday “a dream come true.” He added that it was a moment he was waiting for since “the day he stepped into America.”
Kanter came to the United States in 2009. He came to play high school basketball before moving on to the NBA in 2011. Enes has been a productive player during his entire career, averaging 11.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 723 regular-season games.