Amidst dad's statement, Clarkson still keen on joining Gilas

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Despite his father's statement earlier in the day, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson said on Thursday that he still wants to play for Gilas.

In an official statement, the younger Clarkson said, "I just called [my father], 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 the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country."

Clarkson also said that he respects his dad Mike despite telling Homer Sayson of the Philippine Star that Jordan will not suit up for the national team.

"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," the 6-5 combo guard continued.

Clarkson showed up in the Gilas practice at the Meralco Gym on Thursday night and even participated in a drive-and-kick drill that started the training session.

He, however, did not participate in the play-setting sessions, and Coach Tab Baldwin told some members of the media afterward that it may take some more time before Clarkson can join the team in making the plays.

"I don't know [when he will join the playmaking drills]," Baldwin said.

On the other hand, Clarkson also said that he will also observe Gilas in Taiwan as the team plays for the Jones Cup.