FIL-AMERICAN guard Jordan Clarkson assured on Thursday that he 'sincerely wants to play for Gilas Pilipinas,' just moments after his father cast doubts on a possible appearance for the Philippine team bound for the Fiba Asia championship in Changsha, China next month.
In his first statement since arriving in his mother's homeland on Monday, Clarkson made official his desire to play for 'flag and country' if he is given a clearance by the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA and is declared eligible to play for the Philippines by world governing body Fiba.
"Nothing is cast in stone, but I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given a chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country," the former Missouri standout said in a statement.
They Said It!
“Lets hope that he will be declared eligible to play as a natural born player and be given the green light by the lakers because he definitely will make our national team better and stronger. Knowing he really desires to represent our flag and country can really be a big morale booster for the national team! GO JC!" - asuskopo
His statement came just minutes after his father Mike declared that Clarkson won't be playing for Gilas, explaining that it is not a 'logical and good decision' to do so at a time when the 6-5 guard is entering his contract year with the Lakers.
Clarkson signed a two-year deal with the Lakers before a successful debut season that saw him earn a place in the NBA All-Rookie Team.
However, Clarkson said he has called up his US-based dad and the two have agreed to sort out the matter when he returns from his Philippine trip.
"My father Mike has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future, and my wellbeing," Clarkson said. "His thoughts are that of a very loving dad.
"I just called him and we agreed we will talk about playing for Gilas when I get back."
The Lakers guard joined Gilas practice for the first time on Wednesday night and confirmed that he will be joining the trip to Chinese-Taipei for the Jones Cup. The team is set to leave on Friday.
"This is the reason why I am observing and familiarizing myself with the team while here and will even follow them in Taipei for the Jones Cup, so I can see them compete up close and benefit from the learnings from said experience," Clarkson said.