It’s official: Kai Sotto will be leaving the Philippines to focus solely on pursuing his NBA dreams.
In an Instagram post on Monday, the 16-year-old wunderkind announced his decision to head overseas for training.
“Nakapag-decide na po ako at ang pamilya ko. I’ll be leaving soon to start training full-time. I want to devote the next two to three years to single-mindedly focus on my goal of joining the NBA by 2021 or 2022,” he wrote.
The 7-foot-2 Sotto played in Ateneo for two years and led the school to two Finals appearances, including a title run in Season 80 of the UAAP Juniors.
He also pushed the Blue Eaglets to a runner-up finish in this year’s tournament while nabbing the Juniors MVP award.
Sotto has yet to reveal where he’ll go through Europe to get to the NBA, but he said that he and his family will continue striving to get to where they want to be in the end.
“After a lot of effort by me and my dad to assess all the opportunities presented to me, I strongly feel, with his advice and the advice of other experienced mentors, that leaving immediately to start training and getting the right exposure will go a long way to help me realize my dream,” he said.
“Pinagisipan ko po ito ng mabuti. I will train very hard and sacrifice and focus in the next few years so that one day soon, you will be very proud of me,” Sotto added. “Para po ito sa future ko, ng pamilya ko, and especially po para sa Batang Gilas, Gilas Pilipinas at higit sa lahat, para sa bayan!”
Sotto played his last game for Ateneo last March 20, where the Blue Eaglets fell to the Jalen Green-led FilAm Sports USA, 67-90, in 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals – Supreme 16. He posted 24 point and eight boards in the loss.