With the 2022 NBA Draft just finishing, great news is in store for Ron Harper Jr. who's headed to the League. He joins the Toronto Raptors after a two-way deal that happened after the 58 picks of the draft were announced. Rutgers alumnus is the son of five-time NBA champion Ron Harper. As a senior, he averaged 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.
This is not only going to be a great team-up but we're also excited to see how the Raptors and Harper Jr. work together on future Filipino heritage night events. Last year, the Raptors highlighted Filipino heritage in their latest City Edition Jersey video that centered around Filipinos' love for the game, but also what the game means to a family.
Harper Jr. was one out of three prospects with Filipino backgrounds looking to step on that draft stage. Kai Sotto and Remy Martin have not yet signed deals, so we'll be sure to keep an eye out on the NBA Summer League or news for updates.
Also, history was made when Jaylin Williams from Arkansas was drafted with the 34th Pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Cover Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports
The NBA dream is coming closer for Filipino basketball player, Kai Sotto. The young seven-foot-two center previously played in the Australian National Basketball League for the the Adelaide 36ers and was part of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in the Philippines. This year the Las Piñas native is looking to hopefully be a second-round draft pick in this year's NBA Draft.
Kai Sotto joins two other Fil-Am collegiate players, Kentucky Jayhawks point guard Remy Martin, and Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Ron Harper Jr. who also declared for the 2022 Draft. Sotto aims to be the first Philippine-born basketball player in the League, but he's not putting too much pressure on himself. Yahoo! Sports reports, although he carries the Philippine flag on his back, he enjoys what he's doing.
“Ever since I’ve played basketball a lot of people have been watching me, especially from the Philippines back home...I don’t really feel pressure anymore, it’s more having fun through the journey. I love my job; this is what I love to do, so there’s not much pressure. I enjoy it.”
Besides working out with the New York Knicks, Sotto has at least eleven other work outs with NBA teams. NBA Draft work outs are important because teams get their first impressions on NBA prospects. In Sotto's case, he's there to show everyone what he's got as this is their first glimpse especially if he hasn't been fact to face with an NBA scout. Work outs and scout interactions gauge how well a player's style will fit with the team dynamic and if the prospect is ready to take their career to the next level.
The draft will be held on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Best of luck to all three Filipino players entering the draft!
Cover Photo Credit: Kai Sotto Instagram
With the NBA playoffs set in high gear, the Draft is right around the corner. Three Filipino athletes have declared for the NBA draft and taking their shot to enter the League. The three hopefuls are Las Piñas native and Australia's National Basketball League athlete, Kai Sotto, Kentucky Jayhawks point guard Remy Martin, and Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Ron Harper Jr.
The 2022 NBA Draft is underway with a total of 283 players who are early entry candidates-- 247 from colleges and 36 international players who are looking to take the next step in their careers. Although this is the information on early entry candidates, expect to see more news coming soon like the three Filipino athletes declaring for draft night. The event is set to for June 23rd at Barclays Center in New York. Lets take a look at the profiles of the three Filipino hopefuls.
The 19 year old, seven-foot-two center born in the Philippines currently plays for the Australian NBL with the Adelaide 36ers. Before playing in Australia, he was part of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) then moving to The Skill Factory (TSF) in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, Sotto was considered a four-star recruit among many NCAA Division I programs in the U.S. In 2020, he joined the NBA G League Ignite and opted out of collegiate eligibility. Due to commitments with playing for the Philippine National Team and the situation regarding the pandemic, Sotto was unable to return to the G-League and couldn't declare for the Draft until this year.
A current NCAA champion, the Kansas Jayhawks point guard had a solid super-senior year going all the way in the March tournament. The California native is a three-time All-Pac-12 selection, making him the second player in Arizona State Univeristy history to be named all-league three times. The ASU transfer is going all in with the 2022 Draft as he withdrew during the 2020 and 2021 seasons to continue his collegiate career. In 2022, Martin averaged 8.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Ron Harper Jr.
The six-foot-six Junior from New Jersey decided to forgo his senior year of collegiate eligibility with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Although the Knights had a short end to the tournament, Harper Jr. made an impact on the court. Throughout his collegiate career, he went from a two-star prospect to an All-American. The shooting guard / small forward had an impressive last season with an average of 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists for the season. The son of previous Los Angeles Lakers player, Ron Harper Sr. is said to be projected as a second-round selection.
Houston guard Jalen Green had an impressive rookie season. As the highest drafted Asian-American and Filipino in the NBA, Toronto gave him a warm welcome when the Rockets dropped by the 6ix for a matchup against the Raptors before the end of regular season play. Toronto went big when Jalen came through by forming a collaboration between Adidas Canada and sneaker artist Jack the Ripper to create personalized Adidas Crazy BYWs.
The design focuses on Jalen's Filipino heritage where Jack the Ripper incorporates the colors of the Philippines flag along with the iconic 3 stars and sun symbol. Other details include the number 4, which will be Jalen's new jersey number going into next season along with the area code of 559 which represents his hometown of Fresno, California. Complex shared that Jack the Ripper also added his own flare to the design with the black trim to wrap all the colors together in a cohesive look. He channeled Jalen's play style of playful and exciting into the look of the shoe.
To make the event more special, Jalen along with Adidas donated $10,000 to the Rise Tribe organization, a Toronto-based non-profit dedicated to celebrating and empowering the next generation of Filipino-Canadian youth. Jalen has been vocal about wanting to help make a path for the next generation of Fil-Am ballers and show them their dreams of making it to the League are possible.
Cover Photo: Rise Tribe Instagram
February is considered midseason for the NBA season and also the mark of All-Star Weekend. Usually done over a U.S. holiday weekend, the event brings all the brightest stars in basketball and entertainment. The 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland consisted of 3-days full of basketball from the Rising Stars Challenge to the Skills Challenge, and then the All-Star Game. Fil-Ams Jalen Green and Erik Spoelstra participated in events over the weekend while Fil-Aussie Ylona Garcia went behind the scenes. Check out what happened over the weekend for these three Filipinos!
Jalen Green (Houston Rockets)
The Rookie Shooting Guard had a busy weekend participating in the Rising Stars Challenge and Slam Dunk Contest. The Rising Stars Challenged showcase the up and coming young players in the League along with four of the top G-League Ignite players. With Jalen's history with the G-League Ignite, it was nice of the NBA to include them in this new format. Although Jalen's team lost by a point and free throw, he made sure to put up a clinic. He scored 20 points, scoring four 3-pointers, 2 steals, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. You could also say Jalen was practicing for the Slam Dunk Contest the next day as he put up a massive dunk during the game. Find all the highlights below!
The Slam Dunk Contest didn't go quite as plan, but he got his dunks up. Before one of his dunks, he did give Isaiah Thomas an NFT. See what he did and how it scored.
Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat):
The Coach for Team Durant made rounds on social media over the weekend not only because he was the the coach for Team Durant, but also because of the family moment he shared on the court. The caption, "Bigger than Basketball" summed up what All-Star Weekend has turned in to.
It was family affair not only for players and coaches' families, but also for the NBA family celebrating the 75th anniversary. The League also has worked towards giving back more to communities during these events. The All-Star game raised $750, 000 for two charities.
The Fil-Aussie singer took us behind the scenes of her time at All-Star Weekend. She sat courtside enjoying the activities while also chatting it up with former Lakers James Worthy and Dallas superstar Dirk Nowitzki back stage. She got some shooting lessons from the one-leg fade away shooter himself and wouldn't we all love to learn from the best. If singing doesn't work out, Ylona could sideline report and be the next Cassidy Hubbarth.
Cover Photo Credit: Houston Rocket Twitter
Fil-Am and Houston Rockets Shooting Guard, Jalen Green is heading to Cleveland, Ohio for the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend. The rookie is having a good first season with averaging 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists. With these numbers, Green is participating in two events over the All-Star Weekend: NBA Slam Dunk Contest and the Rising Stars Game. The weekend is set to take place February 18-20 at the Rocket Mortgage Field House.
The Rising Stars game will have a new format that mixes rookies, sophomores, and members from the G-League into four seven-player teams competing in a three-game tournament. Each team will have to reach a target score with the semifinal and final games adding up to 75 points to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA. Green is one of the twelve rookie players invited to play along with 12 sophomores and 4 G-League players. So tune in February 18th to see how it all turns out.
The Saturday events are one of the favorites as it includes the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest, and the hyped Slam Dunk show. Jalen Green joins three other players: Obi Toppin, Cole Anthony, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The dunks and tricks are always crazy so it'll be a sight to watch. Everyone participating has insane skills, but Jalen Green is explosive this season so we'll have to wait and see what happens.
Get the entire rundown of the NBA All-Star Weekend schedule on NBA.com.
Cover Photo Credit: Jalen Green Twitter
For the first time in NBA history, 2 Filipino basketball players played in an NBA game when Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets took on Jordan Clarkson and the Utah Jazz.
Houston Rockets celebrated Filipino Heritage Night presented by Credit Karma Money with a special edition themed Rockets hat and a Jalen Green shirt. Plus those who purchased tickets with the special PSAOT promo code experienced a post-game Q&A with Jalen Green and Jordan Clarkson talking about what this game meant for the League and culture and how they hope to inspire the next group of Filipino ballers. A portion of the proceeds from this offer will go to the Philippine Sports Association of Texas.
With basketball being such a huge part of the culture, it was awesome to see Jalen and Jordan take the court together. The Rockets fell to the Jazz in a 122-91 score, but it was an entertaining game to say the least. The night featured DJs The Kracker Nuttz playing in-arena music from Apl.de.ap to Guapdad 4000.
Before the start of the season, Jordan Clarkson spoke with ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles and said he's humbled to be able to represent the country and help pave the way for other Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in basketball. He's also excited to have Jalen Green join the League and hopes they make a path for the next generation to follow.
Jalen and the rest of the young Rockets team look to bring a whole new ball game. These eager players are ready to push the tempo up this season.
Jalen Green was the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2021 NBA Draft over the summer.
We're halfway through FAHM and we're not slowing down with these spotlight profiles. This week, we're kicking off with Cassidy Hubbarth who you may have seen on TV and online as an ESPN Anchor and Host. You've seen her frequently on televised NBA games as a sideline reporter chatting with players and coaches during timeouts, halftimes, and post-game. Lets get to know her more with these facts.
1. Cassidy Hubbarth is of Filipino and European descent
The Illinois native is of Filipino descent from her mother's side and German and Irish descent from her father's side. In high school, Cassidy was a three sport athlete for four years and part of the 2002 ETHS State Championship high school soccer team. One of the coolest anchors is also one of the biggest Chicago Bulls fan.
2. She began her career in news before becoming a sports anchor
After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism, Cassidy became a traffic reporter and producer for WMAQ NBC5 Network in Chicago. From there, she entered the sports industry and became a host and reporter for the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports South, where she won a Southeast Emmy for Interactivity for her work on SEC Gridiron Live.
3. Cassidy now serves as a full-time reporter for different ESPN outlets
Before covering ESPN NBA games as a full-time sideline reporter throughout the regular and playoff seasons, Cassidy also was a regular host for college football and WNBA studio host for ESPN and ABC. When she's not an in-game reporter, she also lead ESPN's digital show, Hoop Streams which is a pre-game analysis and preview to upcoming NBA games. Other shows Cassidy is also involved in includes: Get Up, SportsCenter, First Take, The Jump, and NBA Countdown.
4. Cassidy was grinding during the NBA bubble as an anchor
Even the sports world was put on pause and later resumed within a secured environment last NBA season because of the pandemic. However, when the NBA bubble became a successful alternative to a regular season, Cassidy was in the midst of it all as one of the few reporters invited to anchor. She recorded her experience through an Instagram vlog called, Bubble Diary where she talked about the bubble, historical moments that happened on and off the court, and how the NBA created a whole new game.
5. Cassidy chatted with Jordan Clarkson about the Yum Yum Food Truck
She isn't one to shy away from topics other than sports. In an episode of Hoop Streams, Cassidy shed light on the actions of Jordan Clarkson and how he helped the Utah food truck, Yum Yum Food Truck get back on its feet. Cassidy spoke up that even if these racial attacks are no longer making headline news, it's still important to talk about how it's happening. She continues to hope that more people will keep paying attention and do their part to help others.
Catch her on ESPN and its various outlets!
Cover Photo Credit: Cassidy Hubbarth Facebook
The Fil-Am NBA players Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Green are looking forward to starting the season. The current Sixth Man of the Year recipient, Jordan Clarkson returns for another season to the Utah Jazz. Rookie Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets looks to produce big numbers in his first year in the League. Get a glimpse of what NBA Media Day was like for Jordan and Jalen.
First off, Jordan chats with ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles via Zoom. Jordan immediately notices Steve's Gilas Pilipinas jersey and asks "Is that my jersey?" Then they talk about his accomplishments not only in the NBA community, but also off the court as he spoke out against Asian hate. In the midst of playoffs, Jordan helped a local Filipino food truck in Utah get back on its feet after being vandalized with anti-Asian graffiti slurs. He gave the food truck a new look with the help of Identity Graphics.
Jordan Clarkson is humbled to be able to represent the country and help pave the way for other Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in basketball. He's also excited to have Jalen Green join the League and hopes they make a path for the next generation to follow.
Jalen Green was the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2021 NBA Draft over the summer. The G-League star is set to have a promising rookie season as he averaged 17.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field while on G-League's Ignite team.
The Rockets team is looking to re-energize the city and bring a whole new ball game with their young, eager players. Jalen along with his teammates are ready to push the pace this season. Jordan and Jalen will meet to play against each other on October 28th as the Houston Rockets hosts the Utah Jazz at the Toyota Center.
Cover Photo Credit: Jordan Clarkson Instagram
Jalen Green is the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and he's headed to the Houston Rockets. He now joins Jordan Clarkson as the other Fil-Am player in the NBA. Green is coming to the Rockets as the projected top two-guard of his class as he averaged 17.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field in 15 games in the G-League — becoming the first prospect drafted from the Ignite. As a G-League star, he's going to have a promising rookie season.
The Rockets' backcourt will now consists of an explosive pair with their top draft pick, Kevin Porter Jr and Jalen Green. A versatile guard who can score both inside and out, Jalen has the potential to become an elite scorer in the league. His mother Bree Purganan is from Ilocos Sur and his maternal grandfather is a full-blooded Filipino. Jalen's first visit to the Philippines was during the 2018 NBTC tournament, where he played for the FilAm Sports USA team and then returned again in 2019.
In 2020, despite receiving offers to play for the Auburn Tigers and the Memphis Tigers in the US NCAA, Green opted to turn pro and joined the NBA G League Ignite – a team for elite NBA draft prospects. Green cited that the biggest benefit for him joining the G League is to experience the NBA style of play ahead of the college players. Now the hard work pays off as he enters the league as the No. 2 Draft Pick.
Cover Photo Credit: Houston Rockets Facebook
The 2021 NBA Finals is in the heat of its potential 7-game match up. Currently, the Milwaukee Bucks leads the series 3-2 against the Phoenix Suns. Game 5 was held in Phoenix and featured two Filipino acts for their in-game entertainment. Vanessa Hudgens sang the national anthem and Jabbawockeez performed during halftime. Vanessa even mentioned how her power stance has improved over the years when asked to perform the national anthem. What's your take on her rendition, we think she killed it!
You can always count on the Jabbawockeez to be bring the swag and dope choreography to the stage. This isn't the first time Jabbawockeez has performed at NBA games. They've also performed for teams like the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. Check out their performance below!
If you want to see more of the Jabbawockeez, see their new show "TIMELESS" now playing in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
Cover Photo Credit: Jabbawockeez Facebook
#StopAsianHate is not trending as much but anti-Asian hate crimes are still happening. In northern Utah, a Filipino food truck, World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck was vandalized with anti-Asian graffiti slurs. The popular food truck serves Filipino, Vietnamese, and Asian Fusion cuisine. Jordan Clarkson who plays for the Utah Jazz and was recently given the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award reached out to the owners and family to help. Clarkson along with Identity Graphics helped put together a new look for Yum Yum.
The food truck since then is back serving the community and rolling through town with a newly designed truck. The truck features bright colors that you can't miss. The bold design is a nod to the Philippines flag with the blue and red colors with the bright yellow sun. Not shying away from showcasing that they cater Asian Fusion cuisine with a rice bowl logo throughout the design. The new look says "we're here, we belong!"
Yum Yum Food Truck will have a reopening on June 12th in Salt Lake City at a rather fitting event, Philippine Independence Day celebration.
Cover Photo Credit: World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck Facebook