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Clarkson looks to repay confidence given to him by Jazz

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UTAH JAZZ GUARD JORDAN CLARKSON (00) shoots on Detroit Pistons guard Svi Mykhailiuk (19) in the second half at Little Caesars Arena. — REUTERS

AWARDED by the Utah Jazz with a fresh four-year contract extension in the offseason, Filipino-American player Jordan Clarkson looks to repay the confidence given to him, setting solid personal goals and for the team.

“I’m gonna go out there and perform. I’m just gonna go out there and help the team win,” said Mr. Clarkson in his recent media conference with Filipino sportswriters.

Mr. Clarkson, who was born to a Filipino mother and American father, signed a four-year, $52-million deal to stay with the Jazz after joining the team in 2019.

It was a decision he said was not hard to make as he found a fit with the team and had built good relationships with the players and coaches in just a short time.

The drive and commitment to win by the team also had him excited and that he hopes to do his fair share in going about and achieving it.

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“Everybody here just has the same goal of winning together. It’s where it all came for me. I wanted to continue to grow here and do great things here in Utah. Definitely, I didn’t want to leave this group,” he said.

One of the things he wants to accomplish at the onset, Mr. Clarkson said, is win the Sixth Man of the Year Award, something he is confident of being in a good position to vie for, considering the playing time and stability given to him by the Jazz.  

“One goal and achievement that I want to have under my belt is winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. I already feel I’m in the conversation for it a lot because I’ve been traded multiple places now, but just having that opportunity to be out there playing and just be with this organization — having the opportunity is going to be great for me,” he said.

Mr. Clarkson, who split time in Tulsa and Missouri in college, was drafted on the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018 before landing to Utah a year later.

So far in the ongoing NBA season, Mr. Clarkson, 28, has been going great guns, averaging 16.7 points per game (third in the team), 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and one steal per game in 10 games for the Jazz (6-4).

Utah has won its last two games, the most recent over the Detroit Pistons, 96-86, on Monday (Manila time).

Mr. Clarkson finished with 18 points in the game, going 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Back in 2018, Mr. Clarkson played for the Philippines in the Asian Games in a team coached by Joseller “Yeng” Guiao. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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