Not many people actually know that Jordan Clarkson is half-Filipino, but when he and Jeremy Lin started for the Lakers Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they became a part of something that had never been done before.
Lin and Clarkson are the first ever pair of Asian American guards to start on an NBA team.
Clarkson was born in San Antonio, Tex. to an American father and a Filipino mother.
The 22-year-old is the first player with Filipino heritage in the NBA since Raymond Townsend in 1978 and Ricardo Brown in 1979.
Lin’s identity as a Taiwanese American player is a little less secret and he made sure that basketball fans around the world knew his name during his 2011-12 stint with the New York Knicks that was dubbed “Linsanity.”
He wasn’t actually the first Asian American to play for the franchise though.
Japanese American Wataru Misaka became the first non-Caucasian to play in the NBA for the Knicks in 1947, which happened to be the same year Jackie Robinson accomplished the same feat in Major League Baseball.