MANILA, Philippines – It did not take long for Jordan Clarkson to prove he is a cut above the rest as he joined Gilas Pilipinas.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios showered Clarkson with praise after witnessing the NBA star in action with the national team.
The Filipino-American guard has been practicing with Gilas Pilipinas since Saturday, August 20, as they gear up for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, where they will face Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
“As expected, his learning curve on the plays is quick,” Barrios said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum on Monday.
“He is not just one cut above the rest – if I may say without downplaying the ability of our other players – but Jordan moves differently.”
A former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Clarkson has been a key cog for the Utah Jazz, who are a perennial playoff team.
He has NBA career averages of 15.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
“His quick step, his ball handling ability, and of course, his shooting inside and out are really admirable,” Barrios said.
Chemistry has also not been a problem for Clarkson as Barrios said the eight-year NBA veteran makes an effort to interact with his teammates.
Barrios said Clarkson even participates in the half-court shooting contest at the end of practice.
“He is one guy who is very proud to be Filipino. He embraces his being Filipino,” Barrios said.
“Aside from the high energy that I notice that is prevailing in the whole team, as far as Jordan is concerned, he is very comfortable during side interactions with the people around him.”
Clarkson and the Philippines take on Lebanon on the road on August 25 before they host Saudi Arabia on August 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com