PH flag-bearer Clarkson: One of the happiest moments in my life

JAKARTA, Indonesia – When Jordan Clarkson marched out of the corners of the stadium with the Philippine flag in his hand, he didn't expect the moment to turn out as one of the highlights of his career.

“It was one of the happiest moments in my life, to experience that is a great time – to see everyone's faces, how motivated everybody was – it was just a great experience, great feeling for me,” said Clarkson.

Jordan Clarkson looked all cool as Philippine flag-bearer – even giving his barong a modern twist – but he didn't expect to feel overwhelmed by a crowd of over 80,000 in the sprawling Gelora Bung Karno stadium.

“I hadn't seen something like that ever. I didn't know there was that many people there. I didn't know how big the Asian Games really was until I came out of that tunnel and seeing the reactions,” added Clarkson.

Clarkson, though, hasn't forgotten how he almost didn’t make it to the quadrennial meet because the NBA initially didn’t clear him. Luckily, the league eventually issued a one-off exception.

“I know we went back and forth, I had to jump on a plane the next day, a few hours knowing they cleared me,” Clarkson said, recalling his journey to get to the Asiad.

"I think they (NBA officials) get the point. There's a lot of fans, a lot of passion for basketball in all of Asia so being able to come here is a step forward for them."

After experiencing the vibrant opening celebration, Clarkson feels even more excited to debut for the Philippines against China on Tuesday, August 21 at 4 pm (5 pm in Manila).

“[The NBA is] a great league but there are a lot of players around the world. This game has formed a culture, people incuding myself, a lot of people in the NBA.” –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.