With NBA dream in mind, Kai Sotto leaves Ateneo to train overseas

Delfin Dioquino
With NBA dream in mind, Kai Sotto leaves Ateneo to train overseas
The 7-foot-2 wunderkind seeks to reach the NBA by '2021 or 2022'

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto will be parting ways with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets to focus on his dream of reaching the NBA. 

The 7-foot-2 wunderkind took to Instagram on Monday, March 25, to announce his keenly awaited decision. 

“I’ll be leaving soon to start training full-time,” Sotto wrote. “I want to devote the next 2 to 3 years to single-mindedly focus on my goal of joining the NBA by 2021 or 2022.”

Winning the MVP award and leading the Blue Eaglets to a runner-up finish in the UAAP Season 81 juniors’ basketball tournament, the 16-year-old has attracted interest from several European teams. 

Among the reported squads which have tendered their offers to Sotto are EuroLeague’s Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Baskonia, Bundesliga’s Alda Berlin and Liga ACB’s Movistar Estudiantes.

Sotto, though, did not reveal where he is headed but said he believes that leaving the Philippines – with the advice of father Earvin and several mentors – will benefit his pursuit of the NBA.

“I strongly feel that leaving immediately to start training and getting the right exposure will go a long way to help me realize my dream,” he wrote. 

Sotto asked for support as he takes the next step for his basketball career. (READ: As Kai Sotto nears decision, Baldwin says PH still best choice)

Para po ito sa future ko, ng pamilya ko, at especially po, para sa Batang Gilas, Gilas Pilipinas at higit sa lahat, para sa bayan.” 

(This is for my future, my family and especially for Batang Gilas, Gilas Pilipinas and for our country.) 


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.