JORDAN Clarkson is just taking a wait-and-see attitude, but he’s more than willing to play for Gilas Pilipinas and represent the Philippines in international competitions.
The father of the Los Angeles Lakers guard reiterated the desire of his son to suit up for the national team once the world governing body Fiba gives him the clearance to play as a full-pledged Filipino.
“We don’t necessarily know where Fiba is in its decision-making process. But given the green light to play, Jordan will be there to play. And we look forward to that,” the elder Clarkson related to SPIN.ph during a meet-and-greet event featuring the Lakers star player recently held in Los Angeles.
Clarkson, 24, carries a Filipino passport, which according to him and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), he acquired during his pre-teen years.
But Fiba has yet to come out with an official stand on the issue as it asked Clarkson and the SBP to submit additional supporting documents, such as the player’s birth certificate and other papers of his mother Annette, a native of Angeles, Pampanga.
At the moment, Clarkson is only eligible to play as a naturalized player for Gilas, a position currently being held by NBA veteran Andray Blatche.
Clarkson’s father however, stressed his son is more than willing to don the colors of the Philippines.
“Jordan has reached out to them and let them know he’s very interested in being an active part of the Gilas program,” he said of the Lakers stalwart, who has visited the country in the past and even attended several Gilas practices.
As early as the 2015 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship, there were already attempts to have Clarkson play for Gilas, but the lack of supporting documents to prove he acquired a Filipino passport before he turned 16 – as per FIBA ruling – denied him of the opportunity to represent the birthplace of his mother.
Currently, the national team is in the middle of its preparation for next month’s Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship, which serves as qualifier to the Fiba Asia Cup this August in Beirut, Lebanon.
The 6-foot-5 Clarkson, a second round pick of the Washington Wizards during the 2014 NBA draft, held a meet-and-greet session during the re-launching of the Victory Auto Haus at Baldwin Park, California, which he personally endorses and owned by a Filipino.
Clarkson is also set to hold a summer basketball camp in the US. from June 28 to 30 at the Centennial High School in Rimpau, Avenue, Corona, California. It is open for boys and girls aged 5 to 16.