Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson will not be able to participate in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China in September with the Philippines. Despite not having citizenship status in the Philippines, Clarkson had previously been granted permission to play with the country’s national men’s team in the 2018 Asian Games.
This time around, however, the 27-year-old American Clarkson, who has a Filipino passport, cannot fill the “naturalization” spot for the Philippines. Former NBA center Andray Blatche, nonetheless, is playing for the country in its bid at the World Cup.
Clarkson’s father, Mike, released a statement about the disappointment for Jordan in being unable to play for the Philippines (per ABS-CBN):
“I have utmost respect for coach Guiao and confident he knows what’s best moving forward,” Jordan’s father Mike Clarkson said.
“As you’re aware, Jordan’s worked extremely hard to stay prepared for the ‘call of duty,’” he added.
“He isn’t a selfish player and wouldn’t want to be a disruption to the team,” Mike Clarkson said of his son.
“Team chemistry is paramount when competing against the best players in the world. Unfortunately, without adequate practice time, their rhythm can be adversely affected,” the elder Clarkson added.
“The Gilas are a very talented group and play well together. I’m looking forward to watching them go to work. The entire Clarkson family will be there in spirit rooting for them to come out victorious,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson was a second-round selection of the Washington Wizards in the 2014 NBA Draft before being traded the next day to the Los Angeles Lakers. The combo guard, at 6-foot-5, would make the All-Rookie first team in 2014-15 and later found himself dealt by the Lakes to the Cavs in February 2018 with Larry Nance Jr. in the Isaiah Thomas trade.