In 2014, the Los Angeles Lakers made an incredibly savvy move when they purchased the 46th pick in the NBA Draft from the Washington Wizards and used it to select guard Jordan Clarkson. After a slow start to his rookie season, Clarkson was given a starting position in January of 2015 and never looked back, earning himself a spot on the All-Rookie team in the process.
Since then, Clarkson has developed a reputation as a hard worker who is always striving to improve his game. Now, Clarkson is expanding his influence beyond the court and helping kids in underprivileged neighborhoods.
In an interview with People.com’s Tiare Dunlap, Clarkson spoke about his youth basketball camp and the positive impact he hopes to have on kids:
“This work means a lot to me. It’s way more than just a basketball camp – it’s training for life […] “I hope I can show the kids that if you work hard and put a lot of time in, you can prove people wrong…Not a lot of guys make it out of where I’m from so I never had anyone come and tell me anything is possible. I’m happy I can get out there and do that now.”
Clarkson will be running his Nike JC6 Basketball Camp in Corona from June 6th-9th, and has acquired scholarships for 50 campers. He also visits schools with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and recently took a trip to the Philippines where he visited kids and supported the Philippine National Team, who he will eventually play for.
Clarkson is using his fame to try to make a positive impact on the obesity epidemic hitting the United States. He says that kids day aren’t as active as when he was growing up In San Antonio, Texas thanks to the growth of video games and technology.
“Growing up, my friends and I were all active playing outside together and that’s how I got into basketball. Nowadays, kids miss out on all that because they’re inside playing video games…As a kid, basketball helped me make friends and stay active.”
Clarkson is a restricted free agent this summer, which means that he has the right to sign with any team in the league, but the Lakers can retain him by matching the offer. However, he has let it be known that he wants to stay with the Lakers, and GM Mitch Kupchak has also expressed his desire to keep the young guard in purple and gold for the foreseeable future.