WATCH the National Basketball Association (NBA) G-League’s 2-part video feature to find out what has excited fans of Filipino Kai Zachary Sotto as he chases his dream of becoming the first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA.
Kai Sotto is currently training with the NBA G-League Elite Development Team for a shot at being the first native-born Filipino athlete to join America’s league.
The NBA G-League Team Ignite player from the Philippines was recently featured in two video stories of the series on Ignite’s first season as told by the players.
Sotto was seen on the first video posted on the NBA Minor League’s social media on December 24, 2020, saying he hopes to make Pinoy fans proud.
The 7-foot-2 basketball wunderkind talked about his countrymen’s love for the sport and what it would mean to Filipinos everywhere if he reaches his goal. According to Sotto, he had always wanted to reach the NBA for as long as he could remember.
“If you’ve been to the Philippines, everybody plays basketball. It’s like a religion. Since the first time I started touching the basketball, I made it the goal to be the first full-blooded Filipino to make it to the NBA,” Kai Sotto said.
Filipino standout Kai Sotto is campaigning to be the Philippines’ first homegrown player to make it to the NBA through the G-League route along with Ignite teammate Filipino-American basketball sensation Jalen Green.
“I first came to America last year. It’s been a bit of a challenge since the game is much faster and the players are more athletic,” Sotto shared.
“I’m just blessed to be here to be coached under Coach Shaw…I’m trying my best to be drafted next year. It will be so big not just for me but for my family and for my country. Hopefully, I’ll make everybody proud,” Kai Sotto added.
The 18-year-old rising basketball star also shared how he got into the sport and what’s motivating him to fulfill his childhood dream in the second part of the video series released by the NBA G-League on December 26.
Despite a busy training schedule, the Filipino phenom still finds time to connect with his extended family back in the Philippines.
“As everybody knows, I’m a big family guy. I have a big family in the Philippines where I talk to them every day. My dad is the biggest factor on why I chose to play basketball,” Kai Sotto said.
Kai Sotto’s dad is Ervin Sotto, a Filipino former professional basketball player, and 2010 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) champion.
“I grew up watching him and I just felt the love of the game because of him,” Sotto shared.
Kai Sotto recently announced his intent to rejoin the Gilas Pilipinas Philippine National Team for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers even as he continues to play for the NBA G-League.
“My game plan is to know my role and to be the best at it and just to always be there for my coaches and for my teammates. There’s been a lot of tough days,” Sotto continued.
“We’re tired, we’re sore, but we all just push through it. And that’s just the beauty of this team, you know, everybody’s just motivated,” he added.
Kai Sotto is also currently setting up his own Kaiju Academy to mentor young athletes.
WATCH NBA G-League Team Ignite’s Kai Sotto talk about his journey to reach his goal as the first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA in the two G-League videos and SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below!
PART 1 here
PART 2 here
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