JAKARTA—It was with great pride that Mike Clarkson watched as his son, Jordan, took charge for the Philippine men’s national basketball team in their campaign in the 2018 Asian Games.
The stint was a long time coming for Jordan, who first linked up with the national basketball program in 2015. It took some work before he was finally allowed by the NBA to play for the Philippines in these Games; he would arrive in the middle of the team’s first game.
Ultimately, he was unable to lead the Philippines to the podium, though he did power the team to its best finish since 2002. For his father, just the sight of his son wearing national team colors was already something to be proud of.
Interview with Mike Clarkson. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
“Remember, he just got out of the NBA Finals,” Mike told reporters after the Philippines whipped Syria, 109-55, with Jordan scoring 29 points.
“I thought that was the pinnacle,” he added. “But now, watching him represent the country, that’s even larger than the NBA Finals.”
“So it’s a prideful moment for me and the family. Jordan is really getting a sense of accomplishment.”
On Instagram, Jordan said there was “more to come,” that he could not wait for the next time he put on the national team jersey. His father doubled down on son’s sentiment.
“He had a lot of fun, and he felt the pride,” Mike said. “He felt all the love he was getting, so I’m sure he’ll be back. I’m sure he’ll be back.”
Mike said he also believes that his stint in the Asian Games can only be of help to Jordan as he moves forward with his NBA career in the Cavaliers.
“It will help him with his rhythm and getting out there, because you get game reps,” he said. “I’m sure he’ll take some things that he was able to apply to the court, moving to the NBA as well.”
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