Kai Sotto Rumors
It worked: For a salary that reportedly exceeds $500,000, Green agreed to bypass a scholarship at Memphis to get on board, giving the G League a face for the program and a magnet for more talent. Isaiah Todd soon followed, shunning a scholarship offer from Michigan. Then came Daishen Nix, Jonathan Kuminga and international projects Kai Sotto of the Philippines and Princepal Singh of India. The team started training in Walnut Creek last August, preparing for a nearly one-month G League season being staged in the same Walt Disney World “bubble” outside Orlando where the NBA played its pandemic-shortened season last year. “These guys are NBA players,” Abdur-Rahim said. “They’re going to play in the NBA. I try to take that anxiety away from them. I don’t think anybody expects them to just go out and dominate.”
Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3, 18-year-old basketball phenom who is on a path to becoming the first native-born son of the Philippines to play in the NBA, is opting out of the start of the NBA G League bubble in Orlando next month in order to meet contractual obligations with the Filipino National Team — the Gilas. Instead of entering the G League bubble on Jan. 26 with the G League Ignite team, Sotto will travel to the Philippines and play with the Gilas when they host Korea (Feb. 18 and Feb. 22) and Indonesia (Feb.20) at Clark City in Pampanga. “The G League agreed for me to meet my previous commitments to play for the national team,” Sotto said via direct message. “They have asked for me to immediately report back to the bubble after my last national team game.”
Kai Sotto – the 7-foot-3, 18-year-old basketball phenom who is on a path to becoming the first native born son of the Philippines to play in the NBA – has announced that his Kaiju Academy will be housed at Spooky Nook, the 1.3 million-square-foot sports facility under construction in a former Champion paper mill in Hamilton, Ohio. It is slated to open in late 2021. “It is a dream come true to mentor young athletes globally,” Sotto, currently a member of the NBA G League Team Ignite, said in a release. “Kaiju is the Japanese term for monster, beast, strange creature, and it perfectly captures the ideal basketball competitor that I aim to be. Basketball isn’t easy and sometimes, it will knock you down more than it builds you up. I wanted my brand and my Academy to be about resilience.
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said Kai Sotto could be the start of a steady stream of homegrown Filipino talent making their way to the NBA. “Anytime you have one or two guys break through, and you just continue to work and continue to have the enthusiasm and environment. At some point you can end up being like Canada,” Williams said in an interview on NBA Philippines’ Republika Huddle.
He cited the Canadian stars who since have risen in the league — specifically the Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins and the Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray — and that the country now consistently produced world-class talent. “It started with one or two guys back in the day,” Williams said. “The guys from Canada obviously looking at American players, but they also saw guys that grew up the same way they did, came through the same gyms they did, and now believe that they can.”
Filipino basketball fans need not worry when it comes to being updated with the latest news of Kai Sotto’s journey towards his NBA dream. This was the promise of NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy, who assured hoops fans that Sotto and Filipino-American Jalen Green’s stint in the NBA G League will be easily accessed by their homegrown fans.