Two NBA players of Filipino descent made history Thursday night.
Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz and Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets became the first two Filipino American players to share the court during an NBA game. The Toyota Center in Houston, where the game was played, was decorated to celebrate October's Filipino American History Month. The Jazz defeated the Rockets 122-91.
Clarkson, whose grandmother is from the Philippines, previously told NBC News, “It means a lot to me to represent the Filipino American community because I’m so proud to share that bond.” Green’s maternal grandfather is from the Philippines, according to NBC’s Houston affiliate station KPRC-TV.
Green, a rookie on the Rockets, was the NBA’s second overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Clarkson won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season and also played for the Philippine national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, during the 2018 Asian Games.
In June, when a popular Filipino food truck in Salt Lake City was vandalized with anti-Asian slurs, Clarkson tweeted that he’d help the owners restore the truck.
The Rockets held a Filipino Heritage Night celebration Thursday night, which included giving everyone at the game a Green T-shirt and recognizing several local Filipino community leaders.