‘Excited to represent the Philippines’: Fil-Am Jalen Green picked by Rockets during NBA draft

Fil-Am Jalen Green will be joining the Houston Rockets. | Photo courtesy of Instagram/@jalen

FILIPINO American Jalen Green was the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, becoming the third player of Filipino descent drafted to the basketball league.

The Houston Rockets on Thursday, July 29 selected the 6-foot-5 guard in the hopes to revitalize the team after its shortcomings in the 2020-21 season.

Green, whose mother Bree Purganan traces her roots to Ilocos Sur, follows players of Filipino descent before him — Raymond Townsend in 1978, and last season’s Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson in 2014.

 

 

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In a post-draft interview, the 19-year-old said was “always excited to represent the Philippines.”

“So, the fact that there’s ties in Houston, it’s kind of like it was scripted. So I’m excited to take that out there and just represent and put on for the Philippines and can’t wait to meet everybody and see the fans,” added Green.

He also took pride in having the support of the whole country behind him.

“The Philippines loves me for me. So, I’m just going to keep being myself. I’m going to keep working hard and staying in the gym,” Green said.

“It’s not really a responsibility, it’s the game I love and they support me, so I just can’t wait to get out there and just put on for them,” he added.

When asked about a future game against fellow Filipino Clarkson, Green expressed excitement.

“I’m excited… I can’t wait, I’ll tell you that much,” he said.

 

 

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In a social media post, Philippine Senator and boxer Manny Pacquiao posted a photo with Green with the message: “Congratulations to Jalen Green on getting drafted #2 overall. Looking forward to watching your journey to becoming a superstar.”

Green previously played for the Ignite team in the NBA G League, averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 15 games.

He was selected behind Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, who went to the Detroit Pistons.

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