Filipino basketball player Kai Zachary Sotto’s dream of becoming the first Philippine-born National Basketball Association (NBA) player is featured in the newest Bleacher Report.
The Bleacher Report “Life and Times with Kai Sotto” was released on social media on March 25, 2020.
The five-minute documentary shows how Kai Sotto has been persevering in his training to achieve his ultimate dream of becoming NBA’s first Philippine-born player.
“There haven’t been any full-blooded Filipino that has been to the NBA, and I just wanna be the first one, and I just wanna show everyone that we can also make it,” shared Sotto in the video report.
The 17-year-old Kai also revealed in the documentary how the Filipino nation loves basketball.
“Every time you go out of the house, you see a court here, court there. You’ll just see everyone playing basketball, and that’s just how we love the sport in our country,” said Kai.
The University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 Juniors MVP is currently in the U.S. as a member of the Atlanta-based development program, The Skills Factory (TSF) National, to train and improve his chances of becoming the first-ever full-blooded Filipino to be drafted in the NBA. He is being courted by top NCAA schools.
The 7’2″ HS Phenom is currently trained by coaches Rob Johnson, Jeremiah Boswell, and former NBA player Chuck Person.
Johnson, head coach of The Skills Factory, said, “He is legit 7’2″. So it’s just a breath of fresh air to work with somebody whose goals are so in reach but also knows and is willing to work in that it’s gonna take to get there.”
“The sky’s really the limit, but also, you know there’s a short time to get there and it has to be deliberate and making those goals achievable,” Johnson added.
Kai Sotto described how training in the United States is different. He said that his trainers really dedicated themselves to help him get better as a player.
“They have been helping me a lot. They’re helping me prepare.”
He also said that during his first few months in the US with his whole family he was in shock as things were happening so fast and that he just had to be ready for it.
Coach Boswell said that there is really one thing that they wanted to really work on and that is to be more NBA ready, which means working on Kai to handle the pace of the game’s physicality.
“Can he use this link in a meaningful way? Does he stretch the floor consistently? Can he guard players? Can he guard in the post? Can he guard off switches?”
Sotto, who was recently named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading The Skill Factory National to a championship, said he just gets confidence from his workouts and practices.
Coach Boswell revealed that for Kai to be more physical, “a lot of it’s going to take some work at P3, which he’s working at every day. They do a great job, kind of sports science and strength and conditioning to develop him off the court which I think is really really important.”
“Here at P3 we assess our athletes so that we know what the needs are. So with Kai, I think from this point on, it’s just a matter of continuing to develop his strength, develop that power. He’s gonna be playing and matching up against guys who are bigger than him.
“So making sure that he is able to match that intensity on the court, but also making sure that he stays healthy too to be able to complete the year-round,” says Performance Specialist, Eddie Dimas of P3 Applied Sports Science.
Coach Jeremiah sees Kai as somebody with a world of potential. “You know potential is something people talk about a lot, right? There’s always where you, though, have to start turning a corner and potential has to become reality.
“And for him he’s starting to, approach that phase. And I think he understands that, and so as long as he continues to move forward and progress, he’s got every, every opportunity in the world to be a good NBA player.”
Kai Sotto said at the end of the Bleacher Report documentary that he just wanted to show that the Philippines is part of the basketball world. He also said that he appreciates those people who follow him and his journey, knowing that his fellow Filipinos are supporting and following him and he uses it as a motivation, and inspiration to work even harder.
Another Filipino in the U.S., teen trainer Ryan Ang, is keeping kids safe against COVID-19 by encouraging them to stay home and instead get basketball training online.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Kai Sotto for having his dream of being drafted into the NBA featured on Bleacher Report!
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