THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced on Friday that Fil-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson has signified his desire to be part of Gilas Pilipinas on the eve of his arrival.
The Los Angeles Lakers sophomore guard is set to arrive on Monday and will be invited to join Gilas in practices and in its stint in the William Jones Cup Invitation in Chinese Taipei later in the month.
The SBP made the announcement to coincide with Clarkson signing up as an endorser of Smart Communications, Inc. and its many products and services.
“As a proud Fil-Am, I look forward to my upcoming visit to the Philippines. The Pinoy fans have been very supportive of me all year long, and I can’t wait to thank them in person,” Clarkson said in a statement released by SBP.
But even if Clarkson makes himself available for the Philippine team, it is believed the 6-5 point guard can only do so as a naturalized player since he failed to secure a Philippine passport before turning 16 - a Fiba requirement.
Clarkson, in fact, was one of the players former national coach Chot Reyes eyed for his Gilas team two years ago, but abandoned the plan when the Fiba rule came iinto effect.
Clarkson, whose mother Annettee, is a Filipina born in Angeles, Pampanga, will likewise be involved in basketball clinics with the youth during his second visit in Manila.
The rising Lakers star was in Manila last May on a three-day promotional tour with several other NBA players.