Chasing a dream
Philippine basketball’s young, rough jewel will get the polishing that it needs—but overseas.
Kai Sotto, the sought-after high school star seen by many as the face of the country in future international events, has set his sights on pursuing his NBA dreams, dumping several offers to play in the country for the meantime.
The 7-foot-2 Sotto announced his immediate plan to leave the country and train overseas.
“Nakapag-decide na po ako at ang pamilya ko (My family and I have already decided). I’ll be leaving soon to start training full time,” Sotto wrote on his Instagram account on Monday.
Sotto also bid farewell to Ateneo, which he led to two UAAP juniors Finals appearances, including a championship run in Season 80.
Recognizing his talent and knowing that its high school star is the future of the UAAP, Ateneo has a standing offer for Sotto to play in the UAAP and be trained by a group that will be assigned by the Blue Eagles’ coaching staff.
The 16-year-old prodigy also reportedly has offers from several club teams in Spain and another in Germany.
“I want to devote the next two to three years to single-mindedly focus on my goal of joining the NBA by 2021 (or) 2022,” he said.
In saying that, it is not clear, though, if Sotto will be available for national duty with Batang Gilas—or even the men’s team—while he is away.
Sotto believes training abroad gives him the international exposure he needs as he tries to become the first full-blooded Filipino to make the NBA.
“After a lot of effort by me and my dad to assess all the opportunities presented to me, I strongly feel (with his advice and the advice of other experienced mentors) that leaving immediately to start my training and getting the right exposure will go a long way to help me realize my dream,” the post read.
“I will train very hard and sacrifice and focus in the next few years so that one day soon, you will be very proud of me.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.