29 May 2016

Jordan Clarkson Cannot Play For Gilas, But ...

Jordan Clarkson
Los Angeles Lakers star Jordan Clarkson was ultimately unable to participate in FIBA Asia with the Filipino National Team last summer when the slate of games conflicted with the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' training camp, but the young guard hasn't let that get in the way of his continued involvement in his mother's homeland.

Clarkson flew into the Philippines last 26 May and the NBA guard reportedly will take part in several "major basketball events" taking place in the country over the next several days. He will first participate in Nike's "unveiling of the new Gilas uniforms to be used during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament."

But just because Clarkson was in the country in part as a brand ambassador for Nike hasn't stopped him from attempting to connect with his would be national teammates during his trip.

Clarkson will not be able to play for Gilas at the FIBA qualifier. His name was excluded from the pool of 24 submitted by the SBP to FIBA for the qualifier. Under FIBA rules, the final roster of 12 may come only from the pool of 24.

Being ineligible to help his team qualify for Rio is unfortunate, because Clarkson seems to genuinely want to represent his adopted country in international play.

"They just show so much love to the sport, and I just do my best to make them proud," Clarkson said in a radio appearance this week, and while he won't get to do so in the Philippines' national colors, his community appearances around the country are likely to at least approximate the effect.

As just the second Filipino American to appear in the NBA, Clarkson's time spent in the Philippines is bigger than basketball for the hoops-mad country. The guard seems to have embraced that with his numerous trips there, and it's fun to watch the mutual love affair between player and nation.

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