Who is Kai Sotto? Look closely at the player profile of the Philippine basketball star
Kai Sotto, who did not improve in the 2022 NBA draft, will return to play again for the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League. The tall Filipino center-back averaged 7.5 points on 50% of shots and 4.5 rebounds in 23 games for the 36ers last season.
Before deciding to play in Australia last season, Sotto was a four-star university prospect. He then decided to give up college ball to play for G-League Ignite, where he could be teammates with the Houston Rockets’ Jalen Green. The Filipino made G-League history as the first international to be officially signed with the league.
However, the opportunity to play in the G-League for Ignite went down because of troubles with Sotto’s national team commitment. He played for the Philippines in the 2021 FIBA Asia Qualifiers. After playing chess, Sotto and Ignite finally came to a decision not to continue their partnership.
The defeat of the G-League was the victory of the Australian National Basketball League. Kai Sotto has been signed as a “Special Restricted Player”, which makes him a local instead of an import in the NBL. However, the presence of the Filipino star was not enough to end the 36ers’ 20-year title drought.
The entire Philippines nation was desperately hoping that the NBA would finally have its first purely Filipino basketball player in its ranks. Kai Sotto is said to have worked for several teams but is not believed to be good enough to be started.
Among the teams he has worked for Sacramento Kings, where he had the opportunity to meet Philippine basketball legend Jimmy Alapag. After much training in the Philippines, Alapag currently plays for the Stockton Kings, the G-League team of the NBA Kings.
Back to the drawing board for Kai Sotto
Some basketball analysts and scouts see potential in the 7’3 Kai Sotto. His work is very close to Chet Holmgrenwho was chosen number 2 by OKC Thunder in the same draft as Sotto.
The Thunder will host the Adelaide 36ers in a pre-season game on October 6. It will be an exciting matchup between Sotto and Holmgren. However, the former superstar Gonzaga will have to sit out the whole season because of a very unfortunate injury. Holmgren injured Lisfranc while on guard LeBron James in a Drew League game.
Kai Sotto is still pretty rough compared to Chet Holmgren which is the main reason why he went back to Australia to hone his skills there. However, like rookie Thunder, he will have to add more muscle to his frame if he wants to play in the NBA.
Basketball fans in Australia began to see Sotto’s potential slowly emerging last season. He was voted the Most Valuable Player voted by the fans. This achievement may not sound like much, but it’s a stepping stone for him to take on his quest to make it into the NBA someday.