Kai Sotto could decide very soon on Europe offers, eyeing NBA as top goal
MANILA, Philippines – The unicorn hunt may soon be coming to a close.
That's because 7-foot-2 high school superstar Kai Sotto could be closing in on deciding where he would play next in his fast-flourishing basketball career.
In fact, he and his family could have an answer as early as this week.
"Siguro before NBTC or after," Sotto revealed during the Chooks SM-NBTC National Tournament presscon at the MOA Arena on Monday, March 11. "Basta this summer, hindi mahirap na mag-decide ako.”
(Maybe before NBTC or after. It won't be difficult for me to decide this summer.)
The annual nationwide high school basketball tournament, which Sotto will actively be a part of, kicks off next Monday, March 18 and will culminate in the National Finals on March 24.
He is also one of the captains in the All-Star Game on March 23.
As previously reported by Sportando, the 16-year-old star big man has received offers from 4 European teams, namely the EuroLeague's Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Baskonia along with Bundesliga's Alba Berlin.
Sotto added on Monday afternoon that Liga ACB squad Movistar Estudiantes has joined the fray, bringing the total suitor count to 4 Spain-based teams and 1 from Germany.
However, don't count out the possibility that Sotto could very well stay put with his current team, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. After all, the one-time UAAP juniors champion, MVP and Finals MVP still has two years of eligibility left.
Whatever the decision will be, Sotto said that it will be what he thinks is his best path to the ultimate destination, the NBA.
"[Importante] 'yung development ko as a player kasi pwede namang 'di ako pumili ng club pero magte-train lang ako sa kanila," he said.
"Ang importante lang naman sakin is mag-improve ako, magpagaling at magpalakas pa lalo dahil 'yung goal ko talaga is mag-NBA. Gagawin ko 'yung lahat para makapunta doon."
(My development as a player is important because I may just not choose a club but I could train with them. What's important for me is I improve and get stronger because my true goal is the NBA. I will do everything to get there.)
Along with his family, Sotto shared that he has personally checked out a few squads abroad in his spare time.
"Nag-visit ako and nag-try akong mag-train," he said. "Tinignan ko lang 'yung mga lugar kung gaano kaganda ba 'yung mga facilities nila, 'yung education, 'yun."
(I visited and tried to train. I checked out the places to see how nice their facilities were and how the education is.)
Ultimately for the young giant, it will be a collective family decision, which will definitely have to come sooner or later.
"'Yung tatay [Ervin] ko naman sinasabi naman niya lahat," Sotto said. "Open siya sa'kin. Talagang transparent siya. Kaya ako more of nagtatanong lang ako sa kaniya at umu-oo o hindi lang ako sa kaniya. Magde-decide kami siguro ngayong summer."
(My father Ervin tells me everything. He's open and transparent towards me. So I just ask him and follow what he says. We will probably decide this summer.) – Rappler.com