Jordan Clarkson gives back to Tenement community, confirms World Cup stint | Inquirer Sports

Jordan Clarkson gives back to Tenement community, confirms World Cup stint

/ 06:28 PM August 28, 2022
Jordan Clarkson tenement taguig

Jordan Clarkson visits the Tenement community in Taguig City where he conducted a basketball clinic and gave away shoes and signed basketballs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines-Jordan Clarkson visited easily one of the beloved hoops hotspots in town on Sunday morning, overflowing with gratitude and pride.

“(This is) kind of where it all started,” he said during a tour of Tenement community in Taguig City.

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“I’m just continuing my visits. NBA players come here, but they [are] not from here. I am, straight up,” he added.

Clarkson gamely talked about his young but already storied pro career which also featured stints with the late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and current franchise cornerstone LeBron James.

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“(I am) just staying the course. That’s what’s been all about. Kobe kind of took me [under] his wing,” he recalled. “You know, my vision was bigger than what other people thought and I just kind of overcame that, continued to do what I wanted.”

Clarkson also played in the NBA Finals alongside James, who was then with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And the Filipino-American star, who now backstops the Utah Jazz, feels that phase of life was just as integral to what he is now.

“It was fun, you know, playing with LeBron, the best player in the world. Arguably the greatest ever to play the game taking us to the Finals, getting me that experience at a young age—it’s different,” he said.

“The environment is different. Playing at a high level like that. It was just something I was able to just take in and take with me [for] the rest of my career,” he added.

Clarkson spent a good amount of his morning with residents of Tenement, donating a bunch of sneakers and shirts co-sponsored by the local government.

Capping off the event was a short basketball clinic, and Clarkson whipping up easily the biggest token of the day: A commitment to the country when it hosts the 2023 World Cup here.

The Filipino-American guard, who was the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, said yes when asked about backstopping Gilas Pilipinas in the global showcase scheduled here, in Indonesia and Japan, beginning August 25 next year.

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“It’s been great. It’s been something that I envisioned when I first went to like Jakarta and watch the team play. You know … people that’s been here, seeing me, and some of these meetings and stuff like that, what I’ve been pushing for is coming to life,” he said.

Representing this basketball-crazed nation, after all, is the best way to honor his roots, according to Clarkson, who traces his Filipino lineage to his grandmother Marcelina Tullao Kingsolver, a native of Bacolor town, Pampanga.

“They’re very important,” he said of his Filipino family. “They’re tattooed on my skin but they’ve been in my blood and that’s what it is.”

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