Kai Sotto's NBA Dreams on Hold: What Comes Next?

Introduction Kai Sotto, a 20-year-old basketball star from the Philippines, had been working hard to become the first Filipino-born NBA player. Despite his hard work and impressive performance with various NBA teams during workouts, his name was not called out on draft night. So, what’s next for Sotto?

Kai Sotto NBA Draft

Aside from his KBL accomplishments, Abando’s Slam Dunk and 3×3 titles for Team Philippines versus Team Korea in the KBL All-Star game earlier this year demonstrate his outstanding skill. Abando’s KBL triumph would encourage other young basketball players in the Philippines and worldwide.

NBA Summer League

No-Go for Sotto Immediately after the NBA draft, rumors were circulating that Sotto might participate in the NBA Summer League, an off-season invitational competition. However, despite the excitement, Sotto’s name was never announced for the event, and the match had already begun.


FIBA Asia Cup

A Slim Chance for Sotto’s name had appeared on the squad sheet for the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, but he may be unable to participate in the tournament. After the Philippines defeated India at the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the men’s team program director, Chot Reyes, ruled out Sotto’s participation.

Kai Sotto Gilas Pilipinas

Commitment to Adelaide 36ers While Sotto’s NBA dreams may have taken a hit, he remains committed to his two-year contract with the Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League (NBL). In his debut season, he averaged 7.5 points, 0.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Australia-based team.

Sotto’s Optimism for the Future Despite the setback of not being drafted, Sotto remains optimistic about his Future. In a social media post, he expressed regret about the outcome but affirmed his belief in God’s plan for him. He also stated that he still needed to be done and would continue working towards fulfilling his dream of playing in the NBA.

Kai Sotto, the Emerging Filipino Basketball Star

Whenever Kai Sotto hits the court, it’s hard to miss the number of eyes turning toward him. Whether playing for the Adelaide 36ers or representing the Philippines, he carries the aspirations of an entire nation’s basketball future. As a 20-year-old center, Sotto has found a crucial role in the 36ers’ team this season. He provides elite rim protection, is developing an impressive offensive game while backing up veteran center Daniel Johnson, and imports big Robert Franks. The Adelaide side is improving week after week with Sotto’s presence. Despite winning the NBL Fan’s MVP award last season, Sotto went undrafted for the NBA and returned to the City of Churches to further develop his skills. Adelaide coach CJ Bruton still believes his young star can make it to the big leagues.
Kai Sotto Adelaide

“Kai Sotto is a promising player when he puts it all together,” Bruton shared on the upcoming episode of UNRIVALLED: INSIDE NBL23. “Not everyone gets drafted, but it’s not the end of the world. He talks the right way, like most kids in this competition, but now he needs to play the right way and do it for himself. He’s still learning. Kai is going to keep evolving and developing, and he will help us get to where we need to go.”

Sotto’s impact on the passionate basketball community in the Philippines is not lost on Bruton, who compared him to the greatest player in Asia, Yao Ming. This is a huge claim, considering Yao’s status as the number one draft pick in 2002.

Sotto’s commitment to representing his country is unwavering, as he explained, “In terms of representing my country, that’s been my goal ever since I started playing basketball. I watched the national team when I was young, and I just saw how they succeeded, how they inspired a lot of kids my age, and how they inspired many people. I think that’s one of our biggest goals wherever I go, to represent my country well and inspire other people that they can achieve great things as well.”

Adelaide 36ers' Kai Sotto Impresses Coach CJ Bruton in NBL Blitz Win

Kai Sotto, the emerging big man of Adelaide 36ers, caught the eye of coach CJ Bruton in their recent victory against Illawarra in the NBL Blitz. Although Sotto’s stats were manageable, his late-game performance impressed Bruton the most.

During the game’s last quarter, Sotto scored six crucial points and made a game-changing block, helping Adelaide come from behind and secure a seven-point victory, earning the NBL Blitz championship honors.
Bruton commended Sotto’s ability to bounce back and become a reliable target for the team. He praised his activity level, allowing Adelaide to play with length and size.

Despite Sotto’s limited minutes in the first two games in Darwin, his impressive performance against Illawarra is expected to earn him more playtime in the regular season.

Bruton attributed Adelaide’s comeback from a 19-point deficit to their effort, stressing the importance of playing defense to compete at the end of the season. While Adelaide has a talented offensive squad, getting stops and defending the ball is crucial to success.

The 36ers have secured three consecutive wins at the NBL Blitz and are now gearing up to take on the NBA teams, the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder, in the USA from October 2.

Their NBL season games will begin in Round 3 against the Tasmania JackJumpers and Illawarra Hawks in home box fixtures.

Pinoy Pride
Conclusion While Sotto’s NBA dreams may have been put on hold, he remains focused on his goals and committed to his contract with the Adelaide 36ers. With his height and talent, he is still a promising player, and it’s only a matter of time before he achieves his dream. We also have another candidate for the NBA Draft, Rhenz Abando, who helped and led the Anyang KGC to become the KGC, KBL, and EASL Champion. He is preparing for his appearance. Will he be the next Asian to join the NBA?


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