Three years removed from suiting up for the Philippine national basketball team, Jordan Clarkson is still hoping to represent the country once more in international competitions.
The 28-year old Utah Jazz shooting guard reiterated his intention of playing anew for Gilas Pilipinas, the desire still burning especially after his first stint ended in a disaster.
“Yeah, that’s definitely something I want to do. Hopefully, everything lines up and I’m free that time and that moment and I’ll put that Gilas jersey back on and go win us something,” said Clarkson during an episode of The Game.
The 6-foot-5 Fil-Am submitted averages of 26.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.0 steal for Gilas during the 2018 Asian Games but the country stumbled to a fifth-place finish behind China, Iran, South Korea and Chinese-Taipei.
“We did a great job. I thought we could’ve won the whole thing, but we’re getting another shot at China and everybody else,” said Clarkson who was able to play as a local since the Asian Games does not follow the FIBA eligibility rules.
However, unless the world governing body for basketball changes the requirements, the only way Clarkson can play again for Gilas is as a naturalized player.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), though, is currently engaged in dialogues with FIBA regarding the removal of the controversial eligibility rule which requires players to obtain their passports before the age of 16.
For now, Clarkson is doing well in the NBA and is averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for the playoff-bound Jazz. He remains grateful for the love and support he continuously receives from the Filipino community.
“I feel it all the time. I always see the flag, puso, everything. Just love and support every time I check my phone, it’s amazing,” expressed Clarkson.
“One year, I had a bunch of All-Star votes for me. Hopefully next year, I put on another great campaign and you guys vote me in the All-Star Game if I play at that level.”