MANILA, Philippines—Filipino-American players Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Green are playing huge factors in the country’s interest in the NBA.
Ramez Sheikh, NBA Asia’s managing director, said in a roundtable interview on Wednesday that both players, who are of Filipino descent, are big elements in the Philippines’ growing interest in the league.
“We’ve got two really strong players. Jordan Clarkson from the Jazz, doing exceptional work and Jalen Green from the Rockets and he’s having a great season so I’m proud of them that they’re showing up and taking care of business,” said Sheikh.
“We got a tremendous social following in the Philippines. Just about 15 million Filipinos follow our local and global social handles which is tremendous for us,” he added.
Green, who visited the country in August for a promotional tour, is averaging 21.7 points and 3.3 assists per game for the rebuilding Rockets.
Clarkson, who last suited up for Gilas in Pilipinas’s game against Saudi Arabia in August, is steering the 10-6 Utah Jazz with 17.9 markers, 4.8 dimes and 4.1 rebounds per outing.
KAI’S NBA DREAM
Kai Sotto is also playing a role in increasing the Philippines’ interest in the league as they await his potential inclusion to an NBA team.
“We’re so excited for his (Sotto’s) journey so far. As you all know, he’s playing for the NBL Adelaide 36ers. He has been a part of our ecosystem. He was a star of one of our Jr. NBA camps in 2016,” Sheikh explained.
The 7-foot-2 center joined the pool of aspiring draftees in the 2022 NBA Draft but was left unpicked.
Sotto is currently donning the 36ers jersey and recently had a winning performance against Melbourne United on Thursday, 91-86, with eight points and four rebounds.
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