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Photo from Kai Sotto's Instagram page


Kai Sotto on Adelaide: ‘I’m very happy to be where I am’

Kai Sotto has been far from home for more than two years.

The 7-foot-3 Filipino wunderkind spent time in the US to hone his craft until May of this year. After coming back home for a little over two months, he flew to Australia to embark on a new chapter in his career with National Basketball League club Adelaide.

It’s been so far, so good for the 19-year-old.

“I thought it’s gonna be really hard for me but it was really easy,” he said during a press conference organized by TapDMV. “The team accepted me for who I am really easy, and has been fun so far.

“I’m really happy that I signed with the 36ers, and to be here in the city of Adelaide. Everything’s pretty much amazing and I’m very happy to be where I am.”

Besides preparing for the upcoming 2021-22 NBL season, Sotto has been active in the community activities of the 36ers.

Some of the activities are clinics for kids, community gatherings, and outreach activities.

2021-NBL-Season-Adelaide-36ers-Kai-Sotto-with-Filipino-community Kai Sotto on Adelaide: 'I'm very happy to be where I am' Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Photo from Adelaide 36ers

But that doesn’t mean that he is not putting in some extra work.

Adelaide also got a personal trainer for Sotto in Scotty Ninnis.

NBL-22-Adelaide-36ers-Kai-Sotto Kai Sotto on Adelaide: 'I'm very happy to be where I am' Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Photo from Adelaide 36ers

“Kai is doing really well, fitting in and contributing every day as part of the team, as all of our players are,” said Adelaide general manager Jeff Van Groningen. “We engaged Scotty Ninnis to do some individual skill work with Kai in the preseason and that was really productive, in addition to the regular schedule with CJ [Bruton, head coach], Jamie [Pearlman, lead assistant coach], and the entire team and all the work done there on a daily basis.

“So he’s working hard and improving. Right now he has some areas of soreness and injury that we will continue to get right. And the strength and conditioning coach and physios are presiding over that process.”

Adelaide has already shut down Sotto, Isaac Humphries, and Mojave King for the NBL Blitz as they prepare for the NBL season. The tournament begins on December 3 against Perth.

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As the season closes in, Sotto is doing his part by not putting that much stress on his body during off days.

“After practices, and Saturdays and Sundays, we have the rest of the time for ourselves,” he said. “When I’m off, I just stay in my apartment, I just like to chill and eat. Sometimes, when my teammates ask if I want to go out, I just go with them.”

Van Groningen stressed that they are playing the long game with Sotto as their goal with him is two-fold – win the championship with him and send him to the NBA.

“We know everyone is excited about Kai and wants to see him on the floor, but it is a long season and he’ll be on the floor when that process is complete. “

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