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Natural-born Filipino Kai Sotto shows high chances of becoming the first Philippine-based NBA player as he gets to constantly train abroad.
The Filipino wunderkind had previously trained in Atlanta, Georgia last week.
Sotto is set to train with the New York Knicks along with 11 other teams during this year’s NBA draft which is set to happen in less than a month.
With millions of supporters in the Philippines, who hope nothing but the best for the 20-year-old center, Sotto said that he does not really feel any pressure since he very much enjoys his profession.
“Ever since I’ve played basketball a lot of people have been watching me, especially from the Philippines back home,” he stated. “I don’t really feel pressure anymore, it’s more having fun through the journey. I love my job; this is what I love to do, so there’s not much pressure. I enjoy it.”
Sotto had previously played for the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League. In the league, he had a notable average of 7.52 points, 4.48 rebounds, 0.52 assists, and 0.83 blocks.
NBA draft workouts are paramount for overseas players such as Sotto, who has not been seen personally or even virtually by NBA scouts. The workouts give high opportunities for the prospects like Kai to show skills and abilities that are of high priority for various teams.
As per Dave Wohl, Boston Celtics’ former assistant coach, the workouts allow coaches to evaluate and make impressions toward players they see live. “What we're really looking to find out about players is their athleticism, their basketball IQ, how they react to certain situations on the court, and certainly any specific skill sets they have," he added.
The highly-anticipated NBA draft, particularly the annual rookie draft, will happen on June 23, 7:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. on June 24 in the Philippines), at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Contributed by John Leeroy Hodges