New NBA draft pick Clarkson proud of his Filipino roots
Part-Pinoy player Jordan Clarkson. Image grabbed from Twitter
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American player Jordan Clarkson, who has been acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers shortly after the 2014 NBA Draft, is proud of his Filipino roots and hopes to visit the Philippines sometime in the future.
The Lakers have recently secured the draft rights to Clarkson, who was selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations.
Clarkson, whose mother Annette is Filipino, is the first player of Filipino lineage drafted in the NBA since Raymond Townsend in 1978 and Ricardo Brown in 1979.
"I'm a part-Filipino and I'm looking to be the first or one of the Filipino-Americans to play in the NBA. I know the country is backing me up. I hope I will be able to visit them in the future," the 22-year-old said in an interview with Slam Online two weeks ago.
Clarkson spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa before becoming one of the top players of the Missouri Tigers, where he averaged 18.4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists while shooting 46 percent from the floor.
He later decided to join this year’s NBA draft after spending one season with the Missouri Tigers.
“It was a tough decision leaving Missouri. I spoke with my mom and the rest of my family and I felt like I was ready to take the step to the next level,” said Clarkson.
The Lakers has reportedly agreed to pay $1.8 million to the Wizards to acquire the 6'5" point guard.
"We had him higher on our draft board. Good size, good defender, excels in attacking the rim," said LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Clarkson said he felt lucky to have been transferred to the Lakers, which has been the home of some of the NBA's greatest players including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Kobe Bryant.
"It's a blessing. I feel like I'm in the right situation," said Clarkson.