Standing tall at seven-feet, two inches, 18-year-old Filipino basketball prodigy Kai Sotto is set to play for the national team Gilas Pilipinas at the FIBA Asia Cup and FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, as well as for The Adelaide 36ers of the Australia’s National Basketball League, as announced on Monday, April 21, during his press conference with telecommunications brand Smart.
Having been launched as Smart’s newest brand ambassador, Kai took the opportunity to announce that he will be playing for Gilas Pilipinas, which has been his goal. “I would like to announce also that I am very excited and very honored to be joining the Gilas National Team that will be playing this OQT and the FIBA Asia Cup,” he said.
Apart from being in the national team, Kai also dreams of pursuing a career in the NBA. He signed with NBA G-League Ignite but learned that he is not eligible to join the 2021 NBA Draft yet.
Patty Scott of East West Private, Kai’s management, said, “And now, obviously because he signed there, I think there’s been a lot of questions and speculation that he would actually be in the 2021 Draft but to remind everyone, actually, he just graduated from high school a few weeks ago and with the help of NBA agent Sarah Espaldon, she has been working very closely with the NBATA to determine exactly his eligibility and therefore the announcement that we have now is that he actually was not eligible for the 2021 Draft. He is eligible starting a year after his graduation passed, in the year 2022.”
With this, Joel Bell, the President of Bell Sports Inc., a partner of Kai’s management East West Private, made the announcement that Kai would be playing for NBL’s The Adelaide 36ers next season instead.
The Adelaide 36ers are pleased to announce that rising young Filipino talent @kzsottolive has signed a multi-year deal with the Club from NBL22.— Adelaide 36ers (@Adelaide36ers) April 21, 2021
Read more: https://t.co/3aJxu6WlCH#WeAreSixers pic.twitter.com/xpVbBZD7Vu
“After a pretty intensive negotiation with a lot of people, it was determined that the best spot for Kai’s solo play next season is with The Adelaide 36ers of the Australian Basketball League,” he said.