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MANILA, Philippines – Much has been said about how big of an addition NBA star Jordan Clarkson is to Gilas Pilipinas due to his talent and caliber.
But for national team head coach Chot Reyes, Clarkson is just as impressive when the cameras are off.
Reyes paid tribute to the professionalism of Clarkson, saying the Utah Jazz standout never missed practice even if it meant breaking a contract provision.
“You see his game on the floor, but what really sets him apart is his work ethic outside, behind the scenes,” Reyes said.
“He never missed a practice, film session, never late. In fact, he has a provision in his contract where he cannot do two practices a day but he still went on and practiced when we had two practices.”
Living up to his billing as a former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Clarkson averaged 25 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in those two games.
It’s also worth noting that Clarkson looked right at home despite being with the national squad for just less than two weeks as his teammates praised him for being humble and unselfish.
“I do not know if I should say that in public, but I think that is very, very important for a team – that he is just one of the guys, he is always with us, he does not excuse himself.”
“That makes our job easier as a coach and we really appreciate that. For me, that is leadership.”
It will be a year before Clarkson suits up again for the national team as he reunites with the Jazz for the start of the upcoming NBA season in October.