Sports

Fil-Am Clarkson displays skills in NBA Summer League

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SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Filipino-American point guard Jordan Clarkson is playing well in the ongoing NBA summer league, displaying hoop skills, agility and determination that may earn the 22-year-old rookie a place in the rebuilding Los Angeles’ Lakers rotation.

 

The Lakers acquired the draft rights to Clarkson, a Filipino on his mother’s side, for $1.8 million after he was selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizard.

The 6-foot-5 junior guard from Missouri State University logged long minutes as playmaker in three games, leading his team in scoring and showing tremendous promise in the ongoing Las Vegas tournament.

Clarkson debuted Friday (July 11) with 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting from the field, including 2 of 4 from beyond the arc, in Los Angeles’ 78-88 loss to Toronto.

Best play

He followed this up with another strong showing, knocking down 16 points on 6 of 14 field goals, including 3 of 6 treys.

But Clarkson’s best play so far was the buzzer beating tip-in to clinch the Lakers’ overtime 89-88 win against the Warriors Sunday.

With about six seconds left, power forward Julius Randle, the Lakers’ No. 7 overall pick, was triple-teamed but managed to fire a shot that bounced off the rim. The high-leaping Pinoy timed his follow-up perfectly to tap the winning basket in with a fraction of second left.

That win, the Lakers first in three outings, snapped Golden State’s 16 game winning streak, the longest winning streak of all time at NBA Summer League.

Clarkson finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-16 shooting, including 2 of 4 three-point range, and seven rebounds.

The Lakers were off to a good start, leading as much as 11 in the third quarter. But the Warriors fought back in the final frame on another strong game by Justin Holiday, who top-scored for Golden State with 26 points, 9-18 shooting plus three rebounds.

Polite, well spoken

Larry Lewis, Lakers assistant coach for player development, said he is satisfied with Clarkson’s performance.“Jordan Clarkson is a good player. He understands angles well… He’s a strong, young player,” Lewis said in television interview posted in Lakers.com. “He’s strong and long, so there’s a lot he can do offensively and defensively from different spots in the court.”

The polite and well-spoken Clarkson said he is very excited playing for the Lakers, one of the most established pro basketball organizations in the league.

He told Mike Trudell that he is quite grateful for the tremendous encouragement and support he’s been getting from Filipino Lakers fans not only in the U.S. but also in the Philippines.

“It’s a great feeling getting - all the support on Twitter, Instagram [and from Filipino fans I meet]. It’s an exciting moment for them as well as for me and my family,” he said in a video interview with Trudell.

 

Asked about his Filipino roots, Clarkson said his grandmother came from Angeles City and his half-Filipino mom was born and raised in the U.S. Inquirer.net

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