FILIPINO basketball fans get to cheer one of their own as NBA prized rookie Jordan Clarkson is set to visit the country to promote and celebrate the ongoing NBA playoffs.
The Fil-Am freshman from the Los Angeles Lakers, recently named as part of the 2014-15 NBA All-Rookie First team, will be arriving here together with Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke and NBA legend and many-time Philippine visitor Horace Grant.
Clarkson and Burke will be attending the viewing parties to be hosted by NBA Café Manila for Games Two and Three of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. Grant joins the two for Game Three of the playoffs.
The twin viewing parties is set on May 22 and 24 (Philippine time).
Clarkson, selected 46th overall by the Lakers in last year’s draft, said he’s definitely looking forward to coming over the homeland of his mother Annette Davis.
“As a proud Fil-Am, I am really looking 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,” said Clarkson, who was once considered for Gilas Pilipinas by former national coach Chot Reyes.
The combo guard out of Tulsa and Missouri ranked second among rookies in points per game (11.9), third in assists (3.6) and free throw percentage (.829), fourth in field goal percentage (.448), and 13th in rebounds per game (3.2).
The Lakers though failed to make the playoffs following the season-ending injury suffered by franchise player Kobe Bryant.
But Clarkson easily endeared himself to Lakers fans as he showed he belonged to the NBA after spending the first half of the season playing in the D-League.
He ended up starting 38 games for the Lakers and averaged 15.8 points, five assists and 4.2 rebounds as a starter, including a season-best high of 30 points and 7 assists in a 102–117 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last March 24.
He and Lakers partner Jeremy Lin also became the first Asian-American starting backcourt in NBA history.
Adding spice to the visit of the three NBA players are the presence of the Oklahoma City Thunder dance team – the Thunder Girls – and Charlotte Hornets mascot Hugo the Hornet.
Clarkson, Burke, and Grant, will also conduct an NBA Cares basketball clinic for 60 underprivileged local youth from Project Pearls – a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help underprivileged children lead a better life through education – and make an appearance at the NBA Store on May 23.
“The NBA playoffs have been tremendous so far, and I can’t wait to watch the Conference Finals with arguably the most passionate basketball fans in the world,” said Burke, picked ninth overall by the Jazz in the 2013 Draft and was named to the 2013-14 All-Rookie First Team.
“I have been eager to return to the Philippines since my first visit in 2011. I still remember the fans’ passion and deep knowledge of basketball and the NBA. There is no better way to celebrate the game than to share the excitement of the NBA playoffs with these Filipino fans,” said Grant, a four-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Fans can reserve their spot to attend the viewing parties, meet with the NBA players, and win exclusive NBA-themed prizes.
Visit www.nba.com/nbacafe and follow NBA Cafe Manila on Facebook and Twitter for more information on the viewing party. For all things NBA, visit www.nba.com and follow us on and Twitter.