JORDAN Clarkson is proud to have known a few Filipino-American players who are now plying their trade in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The Los Angeles Lakers rookie disclosed he has maintained a good relationship with San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross and Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood over the years. Clarkson said he’s known Ross back from their days in their home town of San Antonio.
The 24-year-old Clarkson, recently named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team, said Ross was the first guy that showed him how it is being a Filipino-American.
“I know Chris since we’ve been in San Antonio. Chris is the first guy that kinda put it out there, and always Filipino American,” said Clarkson, who is in town for a brief visit.
Also thanks to Ross, Clarkson said he has likewise developed a good friendship with Norwood.
“I kinda build a good relationship with Gabe through Chris,” said Clarkson, who received a tweet from Norwood congratulating him for being drafted last year in the second round (no. 45) by the Lakers.
The first Fil-Am player since Raymond Townsend was first drafted in the NBA in 1978, Clarkson said he is happy for maintaining a good relationship with people in the Philippines.
“It’s good to know that I have roots back here and back home,” said Clarkson.
Along with Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke and former NBA star Horace Grant, Clarkson conducted a free basketball clinic in Tondo in his second day in Manila.
Despite the morning heat, Clarkson said he enjoyed the activity.
“The clinic we did was the best thing we’ve done all day. We touched so many kids. The influence to them was great,” said Clarkson.
Clarkson also said her mother Annette Davis, who traces her roots in Angeles City, looks forward to his stories on his trip to Manila.
“My mom just told me the traffic was bad,” said Clarkson in jest. “But she told me to tell her everything about the trip.”
Clarkson, Burke, and Grant will join fellow Filipino fans in another set of a viewing party at the NBA Café on Sunday for Game Three of the Western Conference finals between Golden State and Houston.