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Fil-Am hoop stars Clarkson, Green to take part in Jr. NBA PH online clinics

THE National Basketball Association announced that its Jr. NBA Philippines program will make its return this year via online clinics with Filipino-American basketball stars Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Green taking part in the proceedings.

Forced to take a backseat last year because of the pandemic, the Jr. NBA Philippines program has been recalibrated as a series of free virtual basketball clinics for now for 13 to 17-year-old boys and girls across the country so as to resume its mission of promoting healthy and active lifestyles among the youth.

Utah Jazz’s Clarkson and 2021 NBA Draft prospect Green will join Jr. NBA coaches in leading Filipino youth through basketball drills while also participating in a life session to discuss the importance of fundamental skills training in their professional careers during the online event slated for May 29.

WNBA Legend Ticha Penicheiro, meanwhile, will headline a Jr. NBA session designed for girls on June 12.

“We’re excited to bring together players from across the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League to inspire our young athletes participating in the first-ever Jr. NBA Philippines Clinics Online,” said Scott Levy, NBA Philippines managing director, in a statement. “Shifting the Jr. NBA program to a virtual event will allow us to safely engage young boys and girls through basketball while continuing to promote the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.”

To be introduced this year is a social media contest to help identify 10 boys and 10 girls who will participate in the Jr. NBA Asia Pacific Camp Online, a one-day virtual basketball event that features advanced basketball instruction, skills challenges and interactive sessions with select NBA and WNBA players.

The camp will be conducted on July 31 via videoconferencing and will feature 120 participants from seven countries across the region including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Contest mechanics will be announced at a later date.

Mr. Clarkson, who represented the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games, has been having a stellar season for the Jazz, helping the team earn the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs and is a strong contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award with averages of 18 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Mr. Green, meanwhile, made a great impression as a member of G League Ignite, a team dedicated to the development of elite youth prospects, in the 2021 G League season, averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

The Jr. NBA Philippines program was launched in 2007 and has since reached more than two million youth, parents and coaches across the country, teaching the fundamental skills and core values of the game: sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude, and respect (S.T.A.R.).

Participants can now register for the Jr. NBA Philippines Clinics Online at www.jrnbaasia.com, and follow Jr. NBA Philippines on Facebook and the NBA at www.nba.com and on Facebook and Twitter. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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