Jalen Green has no doubt Kai Sotto will make the NBA
MANILA, Philippines — Jalen Green is optimistic that Kai Sotto can still achieve his ultimate dream of becoming the first Filipino homegrown talent to play in the NBA despite being undrafted.
The Houston Rockets star, who was selected No.2 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, believes it’s not yet over for his former G-League Ignite teammate, who decided to return to the Adelaide 36ers for another season in Australia’s National Basketball League.
“I love Kai’s game, super good… He’s just on a different journey right now. Everyone has their own path and this is his story, he can make it what he wants to,” said Green on Sotto during his promotional tour in Manila.
“And I think he loves the game and wants to get to the league so I think he’s going to achieve it,” he added.
The 20-year-old guard competed against the 7-foot-3 big man during his first two visits to the Philippines in the National Basketball Training Center in 2018 and 2019 before he became an NBA player.
The two were supposed to team up at Ignite last 2021. But Sotto opted to come home and help Gilas Pilipinas, missing the camp and eventually the chance to play in the G-League.
Green, who is the third NBA player with Filipino heritage along with Jordan Clarkson and Raymond Townsend, believes a Filipino homegrown can make it someday.
“Anybody can get to the NBA. All around the world, it’s a worldwide league. You just gotta put your mind to it, and stick to the grind. Don’t lose yourself because you had a tough day or you feel like nothing’s going your way, that’s where you’re really going to prevail the most,” he said.
“Those are the moments you gotta live for, the days that you feel like you struggle with or nothing’s going your way, you gotta capitalize on it. Just stay in the lab. Work.”
Green has been in the Philippines since Thursday. On Saturday, he posted a series of Instagram stories that he and his family went to Vigan.
Sotto, on the other hand, is flying home on August 18 to reinforce Gilas Pilipinas with Clarkson for the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
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