Los Angeles Lakers sophomore guard Jordan Clarkson has told Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice-chairman Ricky Vargas and other Filipino basketball officials that he is "all in" to play for the country in international play, according to a report from Dodo Catacutan of Spin.ph. Clarkson, whose mother is Filipino, recently made waves in the basketball mad nation when he appeared in the Philippines to train with the national team after being named to the 24-man pool of players competing for a spot on Gilas Pilipinas.
"This is not a one-shot deal. He's not looking at this as a short-term thing," Vargas told Catacutan. "He was telling us that he wants to play for the Philippines in the 2016, 2020 and 2024 Olympics,and he has a clear vision what he wants to see with the Philippine team."
After a breakout debut campaign in which he rose from being the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft to a spot on the all-rookie team, Clarkson is suddenly a hot commodity. Despite an earlier report he had been given clearance by the Lakers to play for Gilas Pilipinas, now there is doubt as to whether Lakers head coach Byron Scott is willing to excuse Clarkson from the first three days of the Lakers' training camp in Hawaii to play in the knockout round of the FIBA Asia Championship. With training camp a little less than a month away, this is one of the few Lakers-related storylines of the offseason to watch before the regular season kicks off.