The Philippines claimed Jordan Clarkson as a natural-born player and put him on its 24-man preliminary roster for the FIBA Asia championship.
But the Lakers guard apparently won’t play for the nation this summer.
In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the chance to don the country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s current commitment with the Lakers in the NBA.
Jordan is in town and has started working out with the nationals
It’d be pretty disappointing for Filipino basketball fans if Clarkson made it all the way there and didn’t play. The nation has an underrated basketball fan base, and Clarkson – who was born in Florida to a Filipino mother – could have served as a “homegrown” star. Andray Blatche, whose citizenship was bought, doesn’t quite cut it in that regard.
Still, with Blatche, the Philippines can compete. The FIBA Asia champion qualifies for the Rio Olympics, and the next three teams reach the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
If the Philippines advances without him, maybe Clarkson joins the team in 2016.