Photo from Theia SportsGILAS16
Guiao admires Clarkson's humility in his time with Gilas
by Niel Victor Masoy, May 12, 2020 8:05pm
Other than his talent, what coach Yeng Guiao really admired about Jordan Clarkson, in his time with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games, was his humility.
While there's so much hype for the Filipino-American Clarkson -- a legitimate NBA player -- finally joining Gilas, the 6-foot-5 scorer didn't brag about his status.
Instead, Clarkson, who then plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, proved to be down to earth and blended himself perfectly with the national basketball team, according to Yeng Guiao, who head-coached Gilas that tournament.
Guiao just couldn't help but admire Clarkson for showing humility despite being easily the best player on that Gilas team that eventually finished fifth in the tourney.
"That was really one of the highlights of my career," Guiao said on coaching the then 26-year-old Clarkson in the Hoops Coaches International webinar presented by the Blackwater Elite.
"I will not exchange that experience with anything. Nung una kinakapa ko siya, baka sabihin niya Jordan Clarkson ako, Yeng Guiao ka lang. Baka mas marami pa ako alam sayo, but he was never like that, he was a true professional," he added.
Guiao also shared that Clarkson was very coachable and was never a headache for him, as the combo guard showed his full commitment to Gilas by being punctual in practices and following Guiao's and his assistants' instructions.
"Jordan Clarkson is a coach's dream," remarked Guiao.
"He did exactly what you asked him to do. He ran the plays, he worked hard, and he came to practice. He was never late. He was very close to his teammates. Mahal niya yung team, mahal niya ang Pilipinas."
For Guiao, this only shows that Clarkson would answer the call whenever Gilas needs him to be in future international basketball tournaments.
But this also depends on whether or not Clarkson's mother ball club and the NBA would allow him to do so, and that FIBA finally allows him to play as a local for the Philippines.
"He loves the Philippines. I'm sure pag pinatawag natin siya, maglalaro't maglalaro yan sa Pilipinas," Guiao said of Clarkson.
"Ito lang ang kundisyon, kailangan payagan siya ng NBA team niya at kailangan payagan siya nung tournament, kasi baka hindi siya i-consider as local, i-consider siya as naturalized."
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