LOS ANGELES – It has been a year of hope and promise for the NBA’s lone Filipino-American player, Jordan Clarkson, who is one of the few bright spots for the Los Angeles Lakers as they struggle in the NBA.
After injuries depleted the Lakers’ line-up, Clarkson became a starter and proved himself worthy of the role as he flashed his talents and consistently scored in double digits.
“I just work hard, man, trying to get the best results, trying to be great,” said Clarkson. “I’m continuing to learn every day.”
By showing his fierceness on the court, his teammates have given Clarkson – a Floyd Mayweather fan – a nickname.
Robert Sacre has been calling him “Pacquiao.”
“Rob is crazy, man,” said Clakson. “He’s always calling me that. He’s been doing that since the beginning of the year.”
Of the highly anticipated showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather on May 2, Clarkson said: “They’re two great fighters, man. I just wanna see a good fight, a good show.”
Los Angeles is considered a basketball hotbed from high school to college all the way to the professional ranks, and Clarkson, who plays with future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant, has been cheering on LA’s other Kobe – UCLA-commit Kobe Paras.
“Continue to work hard,” said Clarkson. “It takes a lot of work to get here, but he has all the tools, he has the height, athleticism. Score with the ball. It’s gonna be good to see what he does in this process.”
After his rookie year, Clarkson is making plans to visit the Philippines.
“It’s cool, man, being able to have the opportunity to go out there, just being able to see the people, the country, and being able to interact with all people that support me,” he said.
He has been in contact with the Philippine national team when he was younger, and has continued to express interesting in representing the country.
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