Filipino fans coming in huge numbers proved to be an inspirational experience for Fil-American cager Jordan Clarkson as their presence at the Filipino Heritage Night of the NBA at Toyota Center in Houston has fired him up.
Clarkson scored 16 points and was one of seven Utah players to score in double-digits as the Jazz improved to 4-0 with a comfortable 122-91 defeat of the Rockets.
“There’s a lot of Filipino supporters. All around the world, they love basketball,” said Clarkson, who played for the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team during the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games four years ago.
The 29-year-old shooting guard was born in Tampa, Florida, to African-American Mike Clarkson and Annette Tullao Davis.
Davis’s mother, Marcelina Tullao Kingsolver, was from Bacolor, Pampanga, Philippines
Clarkson expressed his thoughts on Friday (Manila time) as the Houston Rockets hosted the Utah Jazz for the first Filipino Heritage Night of this year’s 75th NBA season games.
“Just being here is super inspirational and also for Houston, every Filipino American, anybody with Filipino blood,” said Clarkson after the event.
When the Utah Jazz faced the Houston Rockets on the road, the game featured for the first time two players with Filipino heritage—Clarkson facing off with Rockets’ rookie guard Jalen Green.
Green’s grandfather is Filipino.
For the 19-year-old Green, who was the second overall pick in last summer’s draft, it was his first to be part of Heritage Night.
Green tallied 13 points while starting for Houston.