Eighteen-year old up-and-coming basketball star Kai Sotto has officially left the NBA G League and signed a multi-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia. He’s set to join the team for the 2021-22 NBL season.
The news comes after Sotto and his NBA G League team, Ignite, had come to a mutual decision to part ways. He had been training with the team in California, along with fellow rising players Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.
In a statement, Adelaide 36ers Chairman Grant Kelley welcomed Sotto. “We are delighted to welcome Kai, both to the club and the city of Adelaide. Attracting a player of Kai’s potential from Asia, and more recently the United States, to Adelaide will only enhance the club’s reputation for identifying and developing elite basketball talent,” he said.
Jeff Van Groningen, Adelaide 36ers General Manager of Basketball, referred to Sotto as a “young, emerging talent” and recognized his growing potential.
“He realizes that he has work ahead of him as all rookies do when coming into this tough league, but his combination of height and a developing skillset gives him every chance to raise his game. With hard work, his ceiling for growth is very high,” he said.
Sotto is now committed to the Australian team and aiming to be the first player from the Philippines to be drafted by the NBA. He is eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft, and many teams are reportedly already setting their sights on the 7-foot-2 center.
The prospects seem too good for Sotto, who is also involved in the Philippine national team. Van Groningen has said, however, that they are very open to integrating the teen’s schedules to honor both his commitments.
“If a player is a national team player, it means he’s a good player, so we work around it and make sure that both his national club and professional club are respected and we’re expecting that to happen in both directions,” he stated.
While changes are constantly happening and the future is still uncertain, one thing’s for sure — we’ll be seeing more of Kai Sotto.