MANILA, Philippines – Filipino center Kai Sotto continues to work on the game around him as he prepares to meet with multiple NBA teams before the Rookie Draft next month.
The 7-foot-2 center, which is ready to work with 12 NBA teams, is primarily focused on shooting and defending improvements that could be its biggest asset as it seeks to secure a place on one of the rosters and make history. The first full-fledged Filipino to play in the world’s top basketball league.
He is currently training in Atlanta before the June 15, 2022 NBA draft.
“I am just working on my strengths and weaknesses. Trying to improve around my game. I’m trying to get ready for this upcoming NBA draft and team workout, “Soto said in an interview with Trevor Lane of LakersNation.com.
“(Shooting) is something I have tried my best to improve. I think it’s going to be a weapon for me when I master it. I need a lot of rips to keep myself confident that I can do it every time.
Atenio High School Standout believes that one of his strengths is defending the paint, but he is still working on his defense for defenders and fast players.
“I think I am confident to protect the paint because of my length and my size. But I have to improve on guarding the younger players because everyone here in the NBA is very talented, athletic and skilled, ”he said. “I have to be physically and mentally ready. It’s all about preparation. I think I’m on the right track. “
Sotto is confident that the Adelaide 36ers have prepared him for the NBA after averaging 7.6 points on 51-percent field goals in his Australian National Basketball League 23 games in 15.2 minutes with a 4.5 rebound and a 39-percent shooting from 0.7 block deep. .
“Ever since the league started I have had confidence in myself that I have to show and I have to work and show everyone and prove myself that I am an NBA worthy player,” he said. “I got off to a slow start. I got injured at the beginning of the season. But I think as time went on, I felt better and played better. It’s just that the whole process has been amazing and it has helped me a lot. “
To inspire a generation
More than being the first native Filipino to play in the NBA, Soto said part of the goal is to inspire the younger generation of Filipinos that if they become drafts, they too can make it.
“The biggest target is the NBA. But behind that dream lies a lot of Filipinos, inspiring a lot of people, especially the younger generation. “
“Being the first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA, I think a lot of Filipinos will show that hey we can make it too,” he added.
He admits he feels pressured to carry the dream of every Filipino hoops fan. But he is using it as an additional motivation to work harder.
“I carry a lot of dreams behind me and always remember that I have to work hard every day to achieve that dream not only for me, but for my family and everyone else,” he said.
“A lot of people have been watching me back home since I played basketball. I really feel stressed. I just have to learn to have fun on the ride. I always think I love my work. That’s what I love to do, I enjoy it. “
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