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Jalen Green 'happy' to represent the Philippines as NBA draft looms

Jalen Green 'happy' to represent the Philippines as NBA draft looms

MANILA, Philippines — Jalen Green may have been born and raised in the US, but Filipino blood runs through his veins and he is nothing but proud of it.

A few days before the NBA draft where he is expected to be in the Top 4 picks, the NBA G League Ignite alumni spoke about his excitement to be part of the Philippines' hoop culture in his journey to the NBA.

"I love the Philippines. They show love and support. I'm just happy to get to represent them," said Green whose mother traces her roots to Ilocos Sur.

"I'm happy that I have family out there and I'm tied into the Philippines so I'm excited, and I hope they're excited [too]," he added.

One of the top prospects out of high school during his class, Green became one of the first and biggest names to pass on college and instead go to the G League's new professional path in Ignite.

The move seemed to pay off for the 19-year-old as he shone with his fellow elite prospects Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, and Isaiah Todd.

In his one year in the G League, Green was the top scorer for his team as he posted norms of 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 15 regular season games.

While Green is certainly a good choice should he be the first to be called in in the draft, a number of other talented prospects like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, and Evan Mobley stand in his way.

Regardless of where he lands, though, Green is thankful to just be able to play the game that he loves.

"I'm just gonna be happy that I'm getting drafted, it's a dream come true," said Green.

"That's all I'm happy about," he added.

The 2021 NBA Draft is on Thursday, July 29 (Friday, July 30 Manila time).