Jalen Green sets lofty goals, excited to represent the Philippines

Published July 30, 2021, 5:00 PMJC Ansis

Filipino-American Jalen Green said he is "ready to go to work" and "put on for the Philippines."

Filipino-American Jalen Green was selected second overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft on Friday.

Green was a standout for the G League Ignite team with averages of 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals. He is a shifty and explosive athlete who can create his own shots and handle the ball well, prompting NBA.com Philippines writer Miguel Flores to compare him to Allen Iverson

NBA champion Brian Shaw, who coached G League Ignite, said Green is "a future star" with "a high skill level."

Love for Houston

Green will now take his talents to Houston where he will join a rebuilding Rockets squad loaded with young talent. 

"I think it's awesome. I'm excited. I love their program, I love their coaches. I'm just ready to go to work," he said after he got drafted.

Green believes the Rockets' system fits him well and he hopes to become a centerpiece for them going forward.

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. 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," said Green.


"I think just the coaching staff and the offense and how they’re trying to focus in on defense. I think it just matched all my goals and it played to my strengths. It's a lot of pick-and-rolls, a lot of back door cuts and I'm trying to be All-Team defense, so it's all going to work out perfectly."

His goals in the NBA? "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract, we’re doing it big, so, yeah."

G League edge 

Green earlier said his stint in the G League gives him a slight advantage over his fellow rookies and all the things he learned there will help fast track his development in the NBA.

"Just terminologies, how to get through the highs and lows, watching film, breaking down film, foot work, 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."


Repping Filipinos

Green is only the third player of Filipino heritage to be drafted in the NBA after Golden State Warriors legend Raymond Townsend and Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz. 

Now, he goes to Houston where there is a large Filipino community raring to root for him this season. 

"Man, I'm 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. It's going to be exciting."

Asked if he's looking forward to facing Clarkson, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Green said: "I'm excited, I can't wait, I cannot wait, I can't wait, I'll tell you that much."