HomeAsian AmericansJordan Clarkson will play on Philippines national basketball team

Jordan Clarkson will play on Philippines national basketball team

Jordan Clarkson playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Erik Drost via Flickr Creative Commons.

By Ed Diokno
Views From The Edge

In a last-minute ruling, the National Basketball Association is allowing two Chinese and a Filipino American to compete in the Asian Games, reports ESPN.

Zhou Qi of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyuhang of the Dallas Mavericks will play for China and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson will play for the Philippines in the games being held in Jakarta, Indonesia this year.

After initially ruling that players couldn’t take part in the Asian Games, the NBA decided Tuesday to make a onetime exception to allow the three players to play.

In a statement, the NBA said:
“The NBA’s agreement with FIBA stipulates that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competitions and associated qualifying tournaments. Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players under contract are unable to participate. However, due to a lack of clear communication of that agreement between the NBA and the Chinese and Philippines Basketball Federations, and after further discussions with both Federations, the NBA has agreed to provide this one-time exception.”

“My heart is full of gratitude for everyone who helped make this happen. See you all very soon,” Clarkson wrote on his Facebook page after being informed of the decision.

Clarkson, 26, whose mother is from the Philippines, was only able to catch the last 15 or so minutes of the Philippines-Kazakhstan game when he arrived Thursday local time. Although he didn’t get to play, the Gilas Pilipinas won 96-59.

“I’m ready for the games,” Clarkson told reporters. “I’m very excited I’m finally able to do this, being able to play with my team, for the country. It’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to.”

The Philippines isn’t expected to win the tournament, but with the addition of Clarkson, the team could medal, which it hasn’t done since 1998 when it won the bronze. Earlier this summer, Clarkson was able to practice with the Philippines team and cheered them on in a warmup game against Taiwan.

After spending parts of the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, the guard was traded to Cleveland last season and helped them reach the NBA Finals.

In 81 games split between the Lakers and Cavaliers, the 6’5″ Clarkson averaged 13.9 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game.

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  1. RE: Jordan Clarkson Will Play on Philippines National Basketball Team: Gilas Pilipinas team even though missing most of its regular members still strong and interesting to watch especially now that we have Jordan Clarkson. Let us see how far this team will go and enjoy the fun while its last… We have a solid back court but our front court may still need a little improvement. Anyway our team today maybe stronger than before.

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