Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson and Manila’s Kids

Jordan wanted to visit and establish a rapport with the Filipino communities and learn more about his heritage. After receiving emails, letters and text messages from his countrymen, Jordan realized he was quickly becoming an "icon". Shortly afterwards, he decided it would be a great opportunity to show he truly cares about his fellow Filipinos and insists on restoring a sense of pride and hope throughout the country. (Photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan)

Jordan wanted to visit and establish a rapport with the Filipino communities and learn more about his heritage. After receiving emails, letters and text messages from his countrymen, Jordan realized he was quickly becoming an "icon". Shortly afterwards, he decided it would be a great opportunity to show he truly cares about his fellow Filipinos and insists on restoring a sense of pride and hope throughout the country. (Photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan)

Jordan Clarkson has been beating fierce odds since his boyhood in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014 he was drafted by the Washington Wizards and was promptly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the ensuing season he surpassed expectations to earn a guard spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team. His drive to achieve his NBA dream helped him relate with the struggles of many of the children he met on his first visit to his mother’s homeland in June 2015. He came to Manila to headline the NBA Cares Clinic and Gala and open the organization’s new offices.

“I played with kids on outdoor courts. They had no basketball shoes but they were happy to be on the court,” he recalls some of the events he attended. “There’s definitely poverty in the Philippines, but at the same time the people show greatness and courage.”

After Manila, Jordan spent the rest of his two weeks in the Philippines island-hopping and met people in his grandmother’s native province of Pampanga. “I want to thank everyone for their hospitality and support. I hope to give back to the country in the future,” declares Jordan.

Jordan was invited to Manny Pacquiao's residence and played a game of chess.  (Photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan)

Jordan was invited to Manny Pacquiao's residence and played a game of chess.  (Photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan)

“I’m always trying my best to represent Filipinos with my play on the court.” He is a starter and averages almost 15 points per game.

“I’m really excited about the good things that’ll be happening in 2016,” Jordan said. He is working with his marketing agency to produce special merchandise and promotions for his global following.

Jordan’s fans in the Philippines can expect a return visit after the NBA season. He would be delighted if they welcome him back as “J.C.” Only his family, friends and teammates call him J.C.  

Jordan Clarkson surges past Kostas Koufos of the Sacramento Kings (© 2015 NBAE. Photo By Adam Pantozzi)

Jordan Clarkson surges past Kostas Koufos of the Sacramento Kings (© 2015 NBAE. Photo By Adam Pantozzi)


Anthony Maddela

Anthony Maddela

Anthony Maddela is a correspondent for Positively Filipino. He is based in Los Angeles.  


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