BIDDING to become the first homegrown Filipino to suit up in the NBA, Kai Sotto yesterday officially confirmed he is bringing his acts to the NBA G-League Select squad.
The 7-foot-2 center wrote on his official Instagram account, @kzsotto, saying he has really opted to skip college and try his luck in the G-League which will move him closer to his dream of becoming an NBA player.
“In the last year I have been here in America, I have learned so much. I worked on improving my basketball skills, building up my body and gaining the confidence to play against the best basketball players around the world. The opportunity I was given was wonderful. I am very grateful to all those who support me and personally thanked them already,” wrote Sotto.
“Now, I have to take the next big step towards my NBA dream. We have many options available but after much thought, I believe this option is the best route for me to get closer and faster to that dream,” added Sotto.
“Here, I will be playing with some of the very best and I will have even more resources and support. I am committed to work on developing my game on a much bigger stage. My wish is that you continue to support me and my new teammates @jalen @zaytodd and DaishenNix and pray for us and hope for all of our success and health as a team.”
Sotto, 18, will join athletic Fil-Am wingman Jalen Green and top young guns like forward Isaiah Todd and playmaker Daishen Nix in the new Select squad that is expected to be based in the Los Angeles area. The team will play a limited schedule and won’t be affiliated with any individual G-League franchise. All those players will earn six-figure salaries, with the 6-foot-5 Green, who is of Filipino origin, reportedly set to make $500,000.
Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the news last Monday but East West Private, Sotto’s agency firm, did not instantly confirm the development until the player himself broke the ice.
“In the past two days, there has been a lot of speculation about my next step towards my dream of playing in the NBA. Many people called, texted and congratulated me and my Titas at East West Private,” said Sotto.
“I am so glad and grateful because it means a lot of you are following me on this journey. I understand that I have a lot of responsibility for all my fellow countrymen who are dreaming of seeing a Filipino in the NBA.”
Sotto said he is counting on the support of Filipinos as he forgoes college and begins his pro career in the US.
“I’m very proud and excited to start my professional career with the NBA G League Select Team. I hope to continue counting on your support,” said Sotto, a Batang Gilas standout and former UAAP Juniors MVP from Ateneo.
Sotto will become only the third Filipino to play in the NBA G-League after Japeth Aguilar with the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2012 and Ray Parks Jr. with the Texas Legends in 2015-16.