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Half Filipino Clarkson has the size of a shooting guard and the quickness and creativity of a point.

6’5” Combo Guard Jordan Clarkson could potentially be the Steal of 2014 NBA Draft

Despite our (relative) diminutive stature, we Filipinos definitely love our basketball!

That said, while the former back-to-back NBA Champions (and reigning 4-time Eastern Conference Champions) Miami Heat are helmed by Filipino-American Head Coach Eric Spoelstra, you’d have to go way back to the 80’s to find Filipinos competing in the highest levels of the sport. Raymond Townsend was drafted in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, while Ricky Brown was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the third round of the 1979 NBA Draft. Other Filipino/FilAm players such as Japeth Aguilar and Kris Rosales are continuing to work hard to pursue their dreams of competing in the NBA, but it is another FilAm baller that is poised to be the first Filipino to play in the NBA in a long while.

A relative unknown to those outside of the most dedicated of basketball fans, 6’5” combo guard Jordan Clarkson could potentially be the steal of 2014 NBA Draft. Selected 46th overall out of the University of Missouri by the Washington Wizards, the former Missouri Tiger’s rights were subsequently acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for cash considerations. Several different drafts boards had rated the half Filipino Clarkson as a late first-round pick, with LA Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak admitting after the acquisition that the Lakers actually believed the talented lefty could have hypothetically even gone as high as the middle of the first round.

Jordan Clarkson 2014 NBA Pre-Draft Workout and Interview Video

A junior guard from Missouri, Clarkson was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. Clarkson ranked among NCAA leaders in several different categories in 2013-14, including field goals (51st) as well as free throws made (72nd) and percentage (101st). Hailing from San Antonio, TX, he had transferred from Tulsa where he had earned First Team All-Conference USA as a sophomore in 2011-12 after his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

Jordan Clarkson Mizzou Highlight Video

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak describes Clarkson as "a ball-handling guard that we're excited about drafting." "He's got great size," Kupchak continued. "Good athlete. Really good size. Good defender. Excels probably at attacking the rim. Maybe not as good of a shooter, probably, as he will be when he works on it. He left school a year early. He transferred. So, I'm sure he was thinking that maybe he would get drafted higher and maybe he has a chip on his shoulder -- an expression you've heard today -- to come out and prove something. But we liked his size and we liked his skill at that position." Kupchak then added "we're looking forward to getting him in Los Angeles as soon as possible. Hopefully he'll participate in summer league, which starts in Las Vegas in about two weeks."

On the depth chart at Point Guard for the Lakers, the team currently has veteran Steve Nash on their roster along with Kendall Marshall, who has an unguaranteed contract for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The only other officially signed player in the backcourt for the historic franchise is the legendary Kobe Bryant, so there’s definitely a nice opportunity for Jordan to earn a spot on the team.

What else they’re saying about Jordan Clarkson: situational statistics on Jordan Clarkson:

Jordan Clarkson doesn't stand out on paper looking at his full body of work as he ranks just average scoring .933 points per possession overall, but much of that is the result of a late season shooting slump. The Missouri guard was solid on the pick and roll, ranking 3rd among players in this group using 6 possessions per-game and 5th scoring .92 points per possession. He got to the rim in the half court as often as any guard on this list other than Elfrid Paytonand converted a well above average 56.3% of his 4.5 shots in finishing situations per-game.  Scouting Profile for Lakers' Draft Day Acquisition
With the size of a shooting guard and the quickness and creativity of a point, Clarkson will put NBA defenses on their heels. He can find his way to the rim in a variety of scenarios.
Although he didn't get the same level of hype as the top-tier guards in the 2014 draft, he could end up being equally dangerous, if not more so. Player Profile for Jordan Clarkson

Quick guard with good size who has displayed point guard ability … Ran point the majority of the time during his lone season at Missouri ... Has a strong handle and displays solid vision … Has the ability to post up smaller players and still has quickness to create off of the dribble … Athleticism also allows him to take advantage of bigger defenders, can shoot over them off of the bounce or take them to the basket … Can score from all three levels and is able to create his own offense … Gets low on both ends of the court, moves quite fluidly … His lateral quickness and size gives him potential as a defender, could be versatile guarding the perimeter … Excels at pulling up off of the dribble, giving him the potential to develop a floater as well as spot up ability … Got to the foul line fairly often, shooting 83.1% from the stripe, which would lead many to believe he has a lot of potential from midrange … Has displayed some outside shooting ability. He can be streaky in a good way at times … Used to playing big minutes, and is in excellent condition … Really good body control, use it to create space for opportunities and finishes well around the basket… Decent rebounder given his position, aggressive around the ball … Provides versatility at the guard spot, size and length to defend multiple positions ...

Mother is of Filipina descent, might be eligible to play internationally for the Philippines …