Kai Sotto’s pursuit of his NBA dream in america is off to a fantastic start after making his US national prospect standing debut as a 4-star prospect in the 76th spot of the 2020 ESPN 100. The ESPN 100 is a list of the top 100 basketball players for each high school class. The site also rates the 17-year older as the sixth-best participant in the nation of Georgia, in addition to the 11th-best centre in the complete US high school hoops circuit. Also on the list is the volatile Fil-Am Jalen Green, who’s currently ranked third in the whole class.
Some noteworthy NBA stars who were 4-star recruits in high school are Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. (As of this writing, Sotto has yet to appear at the 2020 ranks of other notable recruiting sites, 247Sports and Rivals150.)
In his short time with TSF, the UAAP Season 80 Juniors MVP is already averaging 17.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game. He’s exhibited great passing instincts, terrific footwork, a soft shooting touch, and freedom that’s seldom seen for a player of his size. Beyond the numbers, Sotto has also improved his overall conditioning and appears to get along well with his new TSF family.
Playing at the US hoops circuit has enabled NBA scouts and evaluators to watch Kai up close and personal when going up against other high-level chances, something which wouldn’t have been possible had he remained in the Philipines or had he chosen to play in a different country. Sotto appears to be adapting well to his new environment and is producing like a celebrity.
Of course, being contained in the ranks doesn’t guarantee success; there are still many aspects of his game which may be improved. Apart from gaining strength and muscle, the lanky Sotto also requires more time to adapt to the athleticism he now always faces. His ball security in the article and on drives may also be enhanced to reduce his turnovers.
Having more vulnerability and sport cassette also provides opposing coaches the chance to scout against Sotto more. People will also begin to pickup on the media hype and attention that’s being given to him. This means that opposing players and teams will begin preparing for him and defending him more than they did earlier.
Fortunately, everything that Kai has revealed so far indicates he is more than happy to do what is necessary to improve his game. He also appears to have a fantastic support system in place in america. His trainer for TSF certainly believes he can achieve wonderful things.
Sotto’s inclusion in ESPN’s positions is a terrific development, but it’s also only a tiny first step in the big picture. There’s still a ways to go before his NBA dream turns into reality.
For now, however, everything appears to be moving in the right direction. We can only hope that the 7’two prodigy will continue to take his match, and Filipino basketball, to unprecedented heights.