Filipino-American guard Jalen Green finally made it into the NBA.
The Houston Rockets selected the 19-year-old Green at No. 2 in the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Thursday, July 29 there (Friday, July 30, Manila time).
“Yeah, I think I can be that piece,” said Green, the highest pick to skip the US collegiate scene, when asked about the Rocket’s current roster. “I think I can bring that dog mentality, that defensive mindset and an exciting part at the same time. They already got a lot of star players, a lot of excitement on the team. I think they’re just missing one more piece and I think I can fulfill that.
“I think it’s awesome. I’m excited. I love their program, I love their coaches. I’m just ready to go to work.”
Green, who followed the same path as LaMelo Ball who was picked third overall last year after suiting up in Australia’s NBL, used the NBA G League as a springboard to get into the biggest basketball league in the world.
Under Team Ignite in the NBA G League, Green, who served as one of its leaders, averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 15 games
He led the team to an 8-7 record to reach the playoffs in the Orlando bubble.
The young swingman from Merced, California said the NBA G League stint played a huge role in how he got into the NBA and that the support from his family fueled his satisfaction even more.
“No, I enjoy every part of it from the G League to now. I learned so much, I think I grew up so much, I learned about myself, got a lot of knowledge on and off the court. No, it couldn’t have gone any better,” said the Fil-Am guard.
“[I learned] just terminologies, how to get through the highs and lows, watching film, breaking down film, footwork, a whole bunch of things. I could keep going on with a list of how much we learned, but not even just on the court, like off the court too, lifestyle things. So, it all worked out perfectly.”
Green will be joining Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson, last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, in making a huge representation for the Philippines.