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Kai Sotto puts up sports academy for young dreamers


Slowly achieving his dreams, 18-year-old Kai Sotto is hoping that others can follow in his footsteps.

The Filipino G League Ignite player is hoping to hasten the process for young dreamers like him through the Kaiju Academy, which will be located at the 1.3 million-square-foot Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Hamilton, Ohio.

“It is a dream come true to mentor young athletes globally.

“The idea is that the Kaiju Academy teaches these young athletes to play ‘like a beast’ on the court, and to be amazing men and women off the court. I want young men and young women to get the right experience, development, exposure, and mentorships to become their best true self both mentally and physically, and create an ecosystem of Kaijus that is healthy for all athletes and their families,” Sotto said in a press release.

Kaiju is a Japanese term for mythical creatures like Godzilla, King Kong, and King Ghidorah. It is the term used by East West Private for the likes of Sotto, Sage Tolentino, and Cholo Anonuevo – all raised in the Philippines but chasing the NBA dream.

For former Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, Kaiju Academy also aims to help in the training of national teams who are willing to use the facility.

“More and more teams internationally are looking to augment their off-season training with higher-level competition combined with elite type skills and development,” said Reyes. “The Kaiju Academy can also serve as a feeder system to identify and develop future national team players who were born in the U.S.

“Overall, it presents opportunities that used to just be pipe dreams before. It’s a game-changer.”

And Reyes lauded Sotto for putting up a program like this despite his young age.

“I’m impressed that someone as young as Kai would have thought to start his own academy.”

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