I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and there was a post about Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson making NBA history.
When Lin and Clarkson started together against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was the first time an Asian-American backcourt started an NBA game together.
Wait… what? We all know Lin is Taiwanese-American, but I didn’t know that Clarkson was Asian-American. I quickly did a little bit of research and found that Clarkson’s mother Annette is full Filipina and his father Mike is African-American.
I’m not blind, Clarkson looked mixed-race, but I never investigated deeper. I shouldn’t assume a book by it’s cover, but I thought Clarkson was a another Caucasian-African American mix.
I don’t have any hard data but mixed African-American players such as Clarkson, Blake Griffin, Zach Levine, Austin Rivers, Klay Thompson, Aaron Gordon, the Lopez brothers, seem to make up a larger proportion of the NBA nowadays.
But I digress. Clarkson is the first player with Filipino lineage drafted in the NBA in approximately 35 years when Raymond Townsend was drafted in 1978 and Ricardo Brown in 1979.
“I’m a part-Filipino and I’m looking to be the first or one of the Filipino-Americans to play in the NBA,” said Clarkson. “I know the country is backing me up. I hope I will be able to visit them in the future.”
I know even the most diehard fans won’t ever know that Clarkson is Pinoy/Asian-American seeing that Clarkson is basically an unknown player outside of Los Angeles and doesn’t look mixed Asian, but it’s nice to have another Asian-American in the league.