Kai Sotto draws strength from mom’s words after Ignite fallout
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino center Kai Sotto admitted that he struggled with his exit from Ignite team in the NBA G League in what would’ve been a promising start to his professional career.
During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Sotto said that he found strength and support from his family especially his mother Pamela after the fallout from the NBA’s developmental team.
“After G League it was tough after what happened,” said Sotto in Filipin. “Nevertheless I was really happy because the group of people surrounding me really helped me.”
“It was really my family that helped me, and my mom became more vocal towards me. I know my dad [Ervin] will always talk to me about basketball but it was my mom who gave me the strength.”
The 7-foot-3 center out of Ateneo’s high school program represented the Philippines in junior Fiba competitions several times before joining Ignite, the NBA’s developmental team that had tapped the likes of Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, and Jonathan Kuminga.
Already set to play in the G League season, Sotto decided to go to the Philippines and help Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the games and left Sotto unable to return to Ignite.
After the botched move, Sotto was able to find a new home in Australia, signing a multi-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League.
“My mom kept telling me ‘Kai just stay strong. If you dream big there’s always the bumps ahead. The bigger the dream, the more challenges you encounter,’” said Sotto.
“My other inspiration were my younger siblings because they helped me continue on and be stronger.”