Kai Sotto works out with Pacers, vows to ‘give everything’ if he gets NBA chance
MANILA, Philippines—Kai Sotto had his latest pre-draft workout on Wednesday, this time with the Indiana Pacers with the 2022 NBA Draft just two days away.
“It was a good fun workout,” Sotto said in a video posted by the Pacers on their website and Twitter.
At 7-foot-2, Sotto believes he has a lot more to offer than just his height and length.
“I would say I’m a skilled seven footer that can shoot from the outside. And I’m a pretty good passer at my height as well,” he said. “And I have a high basketball IQ and pretty good shot blocker.”
“[I] just hope to show teams what I can do and what I can offer to the team and how good of a player and a teammate I am. And I’m just a very thankful guy. I just really appreciate all the opportunities that are given to me. And if I get a chance to be on an NBA team, I would give my best and everything I have.”
.@Adelaide36ers center Kai Sotto (@kzsottolive) talks about what it would mean to be the first player born in the Philippines to play in the NBA and how playing in the @NBL prepared him to make that jump.#GoldOnTheClock pic.twitter.com/oAo5h51GZZ
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) June 21, 2022
Before declaring for the NBA Draft, Sotto played one season with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League.
Sotto, who was initially selected to be part of Ignite in the G League, feels his experience in the NBL served him well in his bid to become the first Filipino-born player to make the NBA.
He averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the field in 15 minutes over 23 games for Adelaide.
“It really helped me a lot. Just the experience, just hanging around with the guys and learning from everybody, starting from my staff, my teammates and to my coaches and to my opponents. Just the whole year was a really fun experience,” Sotto said.
“I really learned a lot and really helped me develop and improve as a player,” he added.
The Pacers have three picks in the upcoming draft.
“Now I’m getting closer to my dream, to our dream,” Sotto said. “It’s been fun. It’s a lot of attention but I’m really thankful for all their (Filipinos) support and those I don’t take for granted.”
“And, you know, if I make it to the NBA, I’ll be the first Filipino. And my dream is to help others to get here, too,” added Sotto, who models his game to MVPs Giannis Antetokoumpo and Nikola Jokic.
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