Philippine basketball prodigy Kai Sotto is one step closer to his dream of becoming the first homegrown Filipino player in the NBA as he confirmed he’s all set to begin a professional career with the NBA G League Select Team.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, the 7’2 center who just turned 18 wrote: “In the past two days, there has been a lot of speculation about my next step towards my dream of playing in the NBA. Many people called, texted and congratulated me and my Titas at East West Private. I am so glad and grateful because it means a lot of you are following me on this journey. I understand that I have a lot of responsibility for all my fellow countrymen who are dreaming of seeing a Filipino in the NBA.
“In the last year I have been here in America, I have learned so much. I worked on improving my basketball skills, building up my body and gaining the confidence to play against the best basketball players around the world. The opportunity I was given was wonderful. I am very grateful to all those who support me and personally thanked them already.
“Now, I have to take the next big step towards my NBA dream. We have many options available but after much thought, I believe this option is the best route for me to get closer and faster to that dream. Here, I will be playing with some of the very best and I will have even more resources and support. I am committed to work on developing my game on a much bigger stage. My wish is that you continue to support me and my new teammates @jalen@zaytodd and DaishenNix and pray for us and hope for all of our success and health as a team. I’m very proud and excited to start my professional career with the NBA G League Select Team. I hope to continue counting on your support. ??”
NBA insider Shams Charania earlier announced on Twitter that Sotto decided to skip college to become the first international draft prospect to sign a deal the NBA G League professional program.
With the confirmation, Sotto is officially the first-ever international player in the “pathway program” which reportedly includes professional coaching and exhibition games with elite teams.
The NBA G League is the NBA’s official minor league, which “prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.”
The League has 28 teams with affiliations with NBA franchises in the 2019 to 2020 season.