Kai Sotto finally broke his silence over his future, Monday morning.
“Nakapag-decide na po ako at ang family ko,” the 16-year-old shared.
“I’ll be leaving soon to start training full-time.
“I want to devote the next two to three years to single-mindedly focus on my goal of joining the NBA by 2021 or 2022,” his statement continued.
The 7-foot-2 enigma’s decision to either attend college in the States or join a club team in Europe will certainly bring him closer to his NBA dream.
But in no way will it be a sure thing.
In the west, nothing is handed over on a silver platter. Just ask the Filipino-Americans playing for FilAm Sports USA.
Jalen Green, the world’s U17 Most Valuable Player, is currently ranked as the second-best high school recruit in the class of 2020. Moreover, he is expected to be recruited by the top Division I colleges in America.
Having seen Sotto play both here and during the FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina, the 6-foot-5 swingman believes that someone needs to unleash Sotto’s true potential.
“Kai’s young. He’s really young, so he’s still got a lot of potential. He’s still got a lot of growing up to do a lot of developing.
“He’s seven-foot-two, and you can see that his body is not caught up to the game yet. He’s still got a lot to go. I think he’s gonna be really good. Just needs to keep working, get stronger, and he’ll be fine,” opined Green.
If Green’s path to an excellent collegiate basketball program seemed like destiny, there are others who are not as fortunate as him.
Take for example 6-foot-7 Fil-Am Kai Ballungay.
Watching Ballungay play, one would think that he is a Div I player. However, the best school that recruited him was Cal State Stanislaus, a Div II program.
Still, Ballungay shared that going west will only bring good things for Sotto.
“Yeah, he’s got a lot of development to do, but the potential is there,” Ballungay said.
“The opportunity to play in the States, the door’s open there for him there and just needs to put in the work and keep on developing.”
FilAm Sports head coach Bong Ulep, though, offered a different perspective on Sotto’s development.
For him, the opportunities for a young buck like Sotto will still be the same whether he leaves or stays home.
“Growing up in a family of basketball, his dad knows the game. They’ll come to a decision where they know the best for him.
“If he’s meant to go and develop his game in the US, then the door’s open for him. A lot of opportunities for him. But if he stays here? Still the same. There are so many good coaches here,” he shared.
On Tuesday, Sotto will give further details on his decision during Chooks-to-Go’s send-off dinner for him.