JORDAN Clarkson has reiterated his desire and commitment to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the country’s quest to return to Olympic basketball.
In an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) that was released on Friday, Clarkson said moves are being made to pave the way for him to join the Philippine team in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament which Manila will host in July.
"We're working on it right now, actually," Clarkson said. "We have to go through some stuff with Fiba, so we're trying to make sure that happens. So hopefully the timing is right, and I get a chance to do that."
The 23-year old shooting guard has been impressive in his second year as a starter for the Lakers and is eager to represent the Philippines. According to Clarkson, his mother, Annette Davis, was born in Pampanga.
"I definitely want to compete, I want to try to get the guys to Rio [de Janeiro]. That would be awesome to experience," said Clarkson, whose visit to the Philippines last year allowed him to witness first-hand the passion Filipinos have for hoops.
"They have so much passion and love for the game, and you know, I did a couple of camps over there and kids were showing up with like, no shoes and stuff, playing on concrete in sandals," said Clarkson.
[See SBP says talks with Clarkson still open, but admits hurdles to his Gilas stint]
The 6-5 combo guard, one of the bright spots for the team the past two seasons, even attended a few practice sessions with Gilas and watched the Jones Cup tournament in Taiwan where the Philippines competed in the run-up to the Fiba Asia championship.
"There's definitely a love over there for the game and I want to continue to keep going over there and trying to represent, and do great things for the country as well as the people."