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    Jalen Green can't wait for face-off vs fellow Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson

    Jul 30, 2021
    Jalen Green NBA Draft
    PHOTO: AP

    JALEN Green becomes the third player with Filipino heritage to be drafted in the NBA, following the footsteps of Raymond Townsend and Jordan Clarkson.

    And it seems providential that the 6-foot-6 guard will be going to Houston, a city known for its diverse culture and a large Asian population.

    With that in mind, Green is just overjoyed to continue representing the country of his mother.

    "Man, I'm always excited to represent the Philippines. So, the fact that there's ties in Houston it's kind of like it was scripted," he said after being picked by the Rockets second overall in the 2021 NBA Draft Friday (Manila time).

    "I'm excited to take that out there and just represent and put on for the Philippines and can't wait to meet everybody and see the fans. It's going to be exciting."

    Green, whose mother Bree hails from Ilocos Sur, knows that the strong Filipino fanbase would be right by him as he begins his NBA career.

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    That's why he only promises to put on a show everytime he steps on the court in Houston, which has around 150,000 Asians, 10,000 of which of Filipino descent.

    "From what I got, the Philippines love me for me. So I'm just going to keep being myself I'm going to keep working hard and staying in the gym. It's not really a responsibility, it's the game I love and they support me, so I just can't wait to get out there and just put on for them. I'm excited," he said.

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    It also includes an impending faceoff against Clarkson, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year for the Utah Jazz.

    "I'm excited, I can't wait, I cannot wait, I can't wait, I'll tell you that much," he shared.

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    But more than proudly representing his roots, Green's main focus really is turning the page for the Rockets who finished with a league-worst 17-55 record as he now teams up with a promising core led by Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., veteran John Wall and Eric Gordon, and fellow rookies Alperen Sengun from Turkey, Usman Garuba from Spain, and former AAU teammate Josh Christopher.

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    "I think it's awesome. I'm excited. I love their program, I love their coaches. I'm just ready to go to work," he said, fully taking that responsibility as a game-changer for the franchise.

    "I think I can be that piece. I think I can bring that dog mentality, that defensive mindset and an exciting part at the same time. They already got a lot of star players, a lot of excitement on the team. I think they're just missing one more piece and I think I can fulfill that."

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    PHOTO: AP
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