WITH the presence of compatriot Jimmy Alapag, Kai Sotto showcased his wares for the Sacramento Kings in a pre-draft workout ahead of the highly-anticipated National Basketball Association (NBA) Rookie Draft next week.
Coming off an injury setback last week, Mr. Sotto had a solid stint along with other prospects in a bid to boost his draft stock before the rookie rites on June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.
Sacramento holds the fourth, 37th and 49th overall pick in the draft proceedings while Mr. Sotto, incidentally, landed at No. 49 of the mock draft by Sports Illustrated two weeks ago.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino wunderkind was reported to have already worked out with the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a dream to become the first Filipino homegrown player in the NBA.
And whether it would be with the Kings or other teams, Mr. Sotto can count on the all-out support of Mr. Alapag, who is currently an assistant coach for the Stockton Kings as Sacramento’s G League affiliate squad.
“It’s great to see Kai (Sotto) here in Sacramento. Best of luck on your journey to the NBA. The entire country and I are rooting for you. Keep working,” said Mr. Alapag, who is also out to make it to the NBA coaching industry soon.
Should the cards fall in its rightful places, Mr. Sotto would join Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson and Houston Rockets’ Jalen Green as representatives of the Philippines in the world’s premier basketball league.
Mr. Sotto, 20, had stints in the Australia NBL and NBA G League on top of his FIBA tournaments with Gilas Pilipinas before trying his luck in the NBA. — John Bryan Ulanday