JORDAN CLARKSON won’t be in Changsa in October to be with Gilas Pilipinas in the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) Asia Men’s Championship.
Mike Clarkson advised his son against playing in the continental qualifier for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, stressing the September 23 to October 23 play date of the China tournament conflicts with the Los Angeles Lakers’ schedule for the coming National Basketball Association (NBA) season, which starts on October 27.
In a statement released through the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), Clarkson said his stint with Gilas is “not cast in stone.”
“My father, Mike, has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future and my well-being—his thoughts are that of a very loving dad,” Clarkson said.
“I [just] called him and we agreed we will talk about [my] playing for Gilas when I get back. Nothing is cast in stone. But I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given a chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and county,” he added.
The SBP hoped to include the 23-year-old six-foot-five guard on the Gilas roster for the Changsa tournament where the champion will represent Asia in Rio.
Clarkson emphasized his desire to play for the country by bringing with him pertinent documents on his citizenship, especially proof that he acquired his Philippine passport as a dual citizen when he was 12.
The older Clarkson told online that it “isn’t logical or sound business decision” if his son plays for Gilas next month, adding that the timing “was not good” because Clarkson will undergo a rigorous training with the Lakers where he was considered as one of the key players.
Clarkson attended the Gilas practice on Wednesday night, met the players and coaching staff and even joined the huddle.
“This is the reason why I am observing and familiarizing myself with the team while here and will even follow them in Taipei for the Jones Cup so I can seem them compete up close and benefit from the [learnings] from this experience,” Clarkson said. “Laban Pilipinas, Puso!”