Six years after he graduated from UA, former Arizona Wildcats forward Mohamed Tangara has survived another big test.
The native of Mali will be sworn in as a U.S. citizen on Friday in Phoenix, having passed all aspects of the the naturalization process.
“American Constitution, presidents, Civil War, the colonies…. pretty much you’ve gotta know all of it,” Tangara said. “I think I know more about the country than you.”
Even though he’s a native of Mali, Tangara does know plenty about the U.S. He has been in the country on and off since 2000, when he enrolled at Mt. Zion (N.C.) Academy. He played for Arizona from 2004-2008 (redshirting in 2004-05), and then spent a graduate season at Chaminade in 2008-09.
Since then, Tangara has played in a number of different countries, and it was then that he decided to seek U.S. Citizenship. Having a Mali passport isn’t the easiest thing when you’re bouncing around the globe playing ball.
“Your travel is restricted when you have a Mali passport,” Tangara said. “Being an American citizen, you can go anywhere in the world. If you’re a Mali citizen, you have to get a visa most of the time and it can take two or three weeks. I’ve gotten fired a couple of times because I signed a contract but couldn’t get the visa on time.”
The only problem was that Tangara had to take this season off while he stayed in the U.S. to complete the requirements. He said he hopes to resume his career next season.
In case you missed it, we updated former UA players who played overseas and in the D-League in the past 12 months. Earlier in the week, we had an update on former UA players in the NBA.
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